'Gujarat took help from Pakistan during the earthquake; why did this government refuse assistance from Gujarat?’

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday lashed out at the Congress for adopting double standards on national issues.

Addressing a well-attended Shankh Nad rally at the parade grounds here, Mr. Modi said, without naming Rahul Gandhi, that a top Congress leader has, over the past two days, been appealing to everyone to get the Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament, even as the Congress government in Uttarakhand had still not implemented the Uttarakhand Lok Ayukta Act ratified by the President. This ‘real’ anti-corruption legislation was passed by the Assembly when the B.C. Khanduri-led BJP government was in power, Mr. Modi said.

Anna Hazare appreciated the Uttarakhand Lok Ayukta Bill when it was framed, just as he was supporting the Lokpal Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha now. If both Bills were supported by Mr. Hazare, why is there discrimination against the Uttarakhand Lok Ayukta Act? he asked.

Mr. Modi claimed that the Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, several Congress MLAs and the Progressive Democratic Front had repeatedly urged Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna to implement the Uttarakhand Lok Ayukta Act, but the government intended to discard or replace it.

The BJP leader accused the Congress-led governments at the Centre and the State for having failed to address the problems of thousands of victims of the Uttarakhand floods. Mr. Modi wondered how the government planned to save them from the fast-approaching winter, six months after the deluge and landslides. “When the earthquake hit Gujarat, we took help from everyone, including Pakistan. But the Uttarakhand government refused assistance offered by Gujarat. Why?”

Mr. Modi said the BJP, if voted to power at the Centre, would ensure rapid progress of the State through measures that would lead to massive local self-employment. Adventure tourism would be tapped into by opening new training institutions and herbal medicines would be produced using traditional wisdom. The youth would also be trained in yoga to teach the large number of people in the metros, seeking good health and peace in the mountains.

Appreciating the work done by Baba Ramdev in teaching the masses lead a better life through yoga and herbal medicine, Mr. Modi wondered why the Congress government was adamant on harassing him.

Mr. Modi’s view that the government was not harnessing hydroelectric power in the State was, however, rubbished by senior Congress leader Yogendra Khanduri. Mr. Khanduri said it was not the Congress but senior BJP leader Uma Bharati who was crusading against all hydroelectric power projects in the Himalayan rivers.

The BJP president, Rajnath Singh, said the results of the recently-held Assembly elections showed that the people wanted to oust the Congress and vote for the BJP. He wanted the people of Uttarakhand to elect BJP candidates from all the five Lok Sabha seats in the State during the general elections, next year. Former Chief Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, B.C. Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshiary; Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Bhatt, and State BJP president Teerath Singh Rawat spoke at the rally.