October 10, 2018 3:14:27 am
Comparing Sir Chhotu Ram with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the peasant leader had given voice to farmers and downtrodden communities during the British rule. Modi was addressing a rally after unveiling a 64-foot-tall statue of Sir Chhotu Ram at Garhi-Sampla village of Rohtak district, a stronghold of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and an area with considerable Jat presence. He also laid foundation stone of a Rail Coach Repair Factory, which will be set up in Sonipat district. Hooda’s son and Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda was present at the unveiling of the statue.
During his 30-minute speech, Modi focused on Chhotu Ram, recalling the steps he had taken for the welfare of farmers. “Dono mahapurush (Sardar Patel and Sir Chhotu Ram) kisan thhe, kisanon ke liye thhe, aur unhone kisanon ko desh ke liye jodne ka kaam kiya (Both great men were farmers, they worked for farmers and they united farmers for the country’s sake),” he said.
The PM recalled how Chhotu Ram rose to become Revenue Minister of undivided Punjab. “Even Britishers used to think several times before rejecting his demands. Not only for farmers of Punjab, he made laws for farmers and labourers of the entire country apart from marketing of crops which are still prevalent in our system,” he said.
Highlighting his government’s initiatives for farmers and traders, Modi said, “The doors of banks have been opened for farmers and small entrepreneurs so that they do not have to depend on money lenders.” He said his government has been working to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for crops.
In Haryanvi dialect, Modi recognised the contribution of Haryana residents in sports, food production and armed forces. “Haryanvis are incomparable,” he said. “I am here to dedicate the statute of Sir Chhotu Ram. I salute the land of Haryana,” he said.
The PM said that Sampla in Rohtak would get new recognition with the tallest statue of the state. “I will also be privileged to unveil the world’s tallest statute on October 31, when Sardar Patel’s statue will be unveiled (in Gujarat),” he said. “Once Sardar Patel had stated that ‘Had Chhotu Ram been alive today, I would not have to worry about Punjab during Partition, Chhotu Ram ji would have taken care of it’.”Each village of Haryana has contribution in the Army and “its credit goes to Sir Chhotu Ram”, he said. “He inspired the farmers to join Army.”
Modi, who was BJP in-charge of Haryana affairs in late 1990s, said, “It was my privilege that I got a chance to work in Haryana. Whenever I went anywhere, almost every day, I came to know about instances regarding Chhotu Ram.” The PM said laying of foundation stone of the Rail Coach Repair Factory would make “his soul happy ”. Modi said that annually 250 coaches can be repaired in the proposed rail coach factory. “It will also help in industrial development of Haryana,” he added.
During the rally, Union minister Birender Singh, who is the grandson of Chhotu Ram, said that Chhotu Ram had raised his voice to ensure profitable prices of crops, while now the PM had raised his voice for doubling income of farmers by 2022.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar expressed his gratitude to the PM for unveiling Chhotu Ram’s statute, adding that he had done great work for land reforms and farmers’ welfare.
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