Himachal Pradesh 2017

Congress leaders want to keep off Himachal, says PM Modi

Hearing the PM: The crowd at a meeting attended by Narendra Modi at Shahpur in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Kanwar Yogendra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing election rallies in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, declared that the Congress had already accepted defeat in the coming Assembly elections.

No senior leader of the Congress was willing to come to the hill state because they have sensed a clear defeat here, Mr. Modi said, adding that the people of Himachal Pradesh were going to punish the party for ignoring the process of development that had been initiated by the Dhumal and Vajpayee governments at the state and Centre respectively.

Appealing to the electorate for heavy polling, the Prime Minster said he had come to seek a three-fourth majority for his party.

Taking repeated potshots at the Congress leadership, Mr. Modi said senior Congress leaders had abandoned Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The party appears to be taking a kind of revenge on the octogenarian Chief Minister, he said.

The Prime Minister, visibly pleased by the large gathering at Chambi in the Shahpur constituency said, “I do not want to know in which direction the wind is blowing. But the Congress, it appears, is going to vanish from the state in the years to come.”

Mr. Modi said the BJP had given an identity to the country. Many foreign nations have now started recognising India as a power to reckon with, he said. “A similar identity is required for the people of the small hill state in the country and outside, and it would only be possible if a clear mandate is given to the BJP,” he asserted.

‘Will continue the fight’

Mr. Modi condemned the members of the Opposition for criticising demonetisation, saying that they had perhaps been affected by the anti-corruption measures taken by the Centre. “I will continue to be strong and fight corruption, as I am a disciple of Sardar Patel,” he said.

The Congress’ mindset was as harmful to Indian democracy as a termite was “to the wood it comes in contact with”, the Prime Minister charged. “At every polling booth, the Congress should be wiped out as it is like a termite, which is eating away India.”

This was Modi’s second rally in Kangra — the district that has 15 Assembly seats out of the total 68, thus playing an important role in government formation.\

Playing the emotional card as the area is home to many soldiers and ex-servicemen, Mr. Modi said: “Himachal Pradesh is the ‘Veer Bhoomi’. We are proud of our jawans of this land who guard the country.” BJP candidate Sarween Choudhary from Shahpur gifted a traditional ‘chamba rumal’ (embroidered cloth) to the Prime Minister.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 10:39:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/himachal-pradesh-2017/congress-leaders-want-to-keep-off-himachal-says-pm-modi/article19983090.ece

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