Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday appealed to the people to vote for the BJP claiming that he had not let down the people of Himachal Pradesh, who had ensured BJP’s victory on all four Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014.
PM Modi said, “Himachal has taken care of me like a son… In the past five years, I did nothing to let you down.”
PM Modi was campaigning in Mandi to garner support for the BJP candidate from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, Ram Swaroop Sharma, who is facing anti-incumbency.
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“In 2014 you made the lotus bloom in all four (Lok Sabha) seats. You gave immense love in 2017 (state Assembly polls in the state). Today I have come here to ask for your blessings for myself,” PM Modi said, adding that he shares a “bond of love” with the people of the state.
“When you opt for the lotus, your vote will directly be for Modi,” he said.
The Prime Minister spoke about the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama. A huge population of the state, especially from the Hamirpur and Kangra belt, are part of the armed forces.
He said that since the people of the country wanted that terrorists be given a befitting reply “respecting your sentiments, your Chowkidar gave a free hand to the brave soldiers to cross the border and kill terrorists”. This resulted in the killing of terrorists inside their training camps, he claimed.
Calling the quick action against terrorists a “change” that has come about over the past years, he said that while the world respects the country for its show of bravery, the Congress “cannot digest it”.
Mentioning the 2016 surgical strikes and the 2019 Balakot air strikes, he said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi abused him for taking action against terrorists.
“The Congress says there should be talks with the separatists… (Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act) must be scrapped,” he said, adding that the Congress plans to “cripple” the soldiers.
“A party with such a mindset should be removed forever from Himachal Pradesh,” he said referring to the Congress.
Criticising Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy over his recent remarks on Army personnel, Modi said, “He (Kumaraswamy) recently said that only the ones who can’t afford food join the Army… Do the brave mothers of Himachal Pradesh send their children to the Army because they cannot feed them? Is this not an insult to all the mothers (whose children are in the Army)? Is this not an insult to the brave soldiers from Himachal?… Congress respects the people who disrespect the people who opt to join the Army. It makes them chief ministers.”
Addressing the Sikh population of Mandi, he said that he was in Mandi to “remind them” of the 1984 riots. “Our government is doing the work of providing justice for the 1984 riots. The culprits have been given capital punishment,” he said, adding that the Congress is not empathetic towards the victims of the Sikh riots.
Speaking of strengthening the tourism potential of the state, he said that the BJP government was doing “unprecedented works” in the highways, railways, and airways, and was also strengthening mobile phone network connectivity across the state.