BJP Prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi invoked a line made famous by Kargil martyr Capt Vikram Batra, “Yeh dil maange more”, to seek votes in the latter’s hometown of Palampur on Tuesday.
“This is the land to which martyrs like Somnath Sharma and Vikram Batra belong. I would also say, ‘Yeh dil maange more’. I would like you to get me 300+ kamals (lotuses), and I assure you that I will fulfill your dreams,” Modi said.
He repeated the phrase — the catchline from an advertising campaign which Batra had quoted before he died in the Kargil conflict — at his other rallies in Mandi and Solan also as he asked people to ensure the BJP’s victory in all the four Lok Sabha constituencies of Himachal Pradesh.
“What kind of government do you want at the Centre? A feeble government of maa-beta or a strong and stable government? If you want a strong government, you must give me 300-plus kamals (lotuses),” he said in Solan.
At his rally in Palampur, he dismissed the “one rank-one pension” promise made by the UPA government. “For the last six-seven elections, Congress has been using these tactics. In every election in the past, they promised to implement the one rank-one pension scheme for the defence personnel, but they still haven’t been able to do so. Doesn’t this amount to cheating soldiers who sacrifice their lives for our nation? Today, a mother in this area feels proud to see her son wearing the Army uniform. But if the Centre’s attitude remains like this, will any more Vikram Batras be born here?” he said.
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Targeting young voters, Modi said, “The age of 18-28 years is the most important period of a person’s life… If five years get spoiled because of voting for the wrong party, your entire future will be destroyed. These elections are just like Class 12 exams. If you fail your Class 12th exams, your future is ruined.”
Adding to the escalating war of words, he said, “Congress is a party of cheats… Their manifesto is nothing but a paper full of lies.” Terming the Lok Sabha polls as a historic battle, he said, “On one side, there are rulers who have looted the nation for 60 years, and on the other side, there is a new hope, confidence and faith… It is the people of this country who are fighting these polls, with the hope of changing this nation”.
Trying to strike an emotional chord, he said, “When Atalji became the prime minister, people of Himachal used to say with pride that ‘the PM is ours’. I have also spent important years of my life in Himachal Pradesh before moving to Gujarat. I assure you that if the BJP comes to power, you can again say that the PM belongs to Himachal.”