Raising the issue of refugees, Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the government of giving undue favor to immigrants from Bangladesh while denying any facility for displaced persons from Pakistan.
Modi strongly pitched for extending citizenship rights to refugees from Pakistan.
“If any one comes from Bangladesh, he is welcomed and all rules are broken for him. But the same is not done for refugees from Pakistan coming to India,” Modi said at an election rally in Barmer.
Sympathising with refugees from Pakistan, he said, “They come here because they love India. They have come from Pakistan not for any ulterior motives, but they are shouting Bharat Mata Ki Jai. They do not get any citizenship benefits. Why should they be denied? we need to end this politics of votebanks.”
Assuring support to Pakistani refugees, he said, “I want to assure you that you are also like Indian citizens. We will do justice and give all rights to you.”
Hitting out at votebank politics, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate said it has weakened the nation.
“If we want to save the country then we have to get rid of this votebank politics. If the vote bank politics continued then our country will not progress and cannot be a modern nation,” Modi said.
Barmer constituency in Rajasthan has generated a lot of interest as expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh is contesting from here as an Independent, defying the party.
On the water scarcity issue that the region is facing, Modi said his government would fulfill the dream of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of linking rivers so that flood water can be taken to parched and dry regions.
“It was the dream of Vajpayee to interlink all rivers in the country. We want to initiate action on it. When rivers are flooded, excess water can be diverted towards the area facing water crisis,” he said.
Referring to the exploration scope in the region, he said Pakistan has started exploring the area across the border for gas and petroleum products.
“Look across the border in Pakistan, they have started massive work in gas and petroleum sector, why can’t we? he asked.
“It is the same region. There is immense scope for gas and petroleum here. I am sure we can definitely find it here as well. It can give new strength to our nation.”
Adressing youth, he said there will be opportunities in the exploration work in future and asked them to prepare themselves for it.
“We have started a petroleum university in Gujarat and this is for youngsters. I would urge the youth here to go on Internet and search about petroleum university. I invite you to make full use of it, he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said that his government if formed will work for the development of this desert region.
He said that desert region of Kutch was transformed into a developing area in the last ten years and after supply of water from Narmada river, mangoes are being supplied to global markets.
“When Kutch region can be developed, why can’t your Barmer and nearby areas? I promise that development will be accelerated in this region after our government’s formation in Delhi,” he said, asking people to vote for the party only if they have faith and confidence in him.