Ballabgarh (Haryana): Launching a broadside against the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday asked the opposition party to explain “its love” for Article 370 to the families of security personnel martyred in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing his first of four election rallies in Haryana this week, he said the opposition was shedding “crocodile tears” and challenged the Congress to tell people that it will rescind the Modi Government’s decision on J&K if voted to power.
Modi also targeted the Congress over Rafale, saying he was happy that despite its best efforts to stall the deal, the country had received first of the fighter jets, and stressed that the BJP was committed to strengthening security forces.
After it swept the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has again made nationalism its major poll plank in upcoming assembly elections, which will be the first in the country after the Centre’s decision to scrap special status to J&K August 5.
Asserting that India is now taking big decisions like on Article 370 which were unthinkable earlier, the prime minister said the massive mandate from the people gave him the strength to take the step which, he asserted, has the backing of the entire country including Haryana.
Some people whose interests have been affected are raising questions on this decision and seeking help in foreign nations, the prime minister said, while again targeting the opposition on the issue as he did in poll-bound Maharashtra Sunday.
Modi said the opposition parties in Haryana were crumbling and their attempts to come together are falling apart, while the BJP had a “strong team and a strong captain” in Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
“India is taking big decisions, which no one could think of earlier. Which decision am I talking about? This decision on Article 370,” he said.
Modi said there was feeling in Haryana and the entire country that J&K needs to be pulled out of spiral of violence and put on path of development.
“J&K and Ladakh are moving on path of trust and development and credit for this does not go to Modi, but it goes to 130 crore people of this country and voters of this country. You gave us big mandate and I derive strength from you to realise your dreams,” he said.
Modi accused the opposition parties of politicising the issue of Article 370. “The entire country is also seeing people whose interests have been affected by the decision on Article 370 are in a state of shock. These people are raising questions on this decision and seeking help in foreign nations.
“Those who are unable to sleep and ‘jin ke pet mein chuhey daud rahe hain’, if these people have so much liking for Article 370 and 35-A, then I challenge them why don’t they muster courage and go before people of Haryana and tell them that if they win elections, they will bring back Article 370 and 35-A,” Modi said.
Khattar too had used a Hindi proverb khoda pahad nikli chuhiya Sunday to take a swipe at the Congress’ three-month effort at choosing a president, drawing ire of the opposition party. The proverb suggests there was much ado about noting. Though literally, it means finding a mouse after digging a mountain.
He said those opposing the decision know that Modi government got overwhelming public mandate and support because of which the Centre was able to take a decision on Article 370.
He asked people to go to villages and make people understand the benefits of the step.
Training guns on opposition, he said “because of their love for Article 370 mothers lost their brave sons and young women were widowed.”
“The brave jawan of Haryana who was protecting innocent citizens of J&K, who fell to bullet of terrorists and when his body came back wrapped in tricolour, ask those mothers how many sons-of-soil lost lives because of your love for Article 370… ask how many were widowed and how many children were orphaned,” he said at the rally in the state which sends a large numbers of youths in security forces.
“Those who lost their dear ones for peace in J&K, Congress leaders must tell them why they love Article 370 so much. They must tell in what way this Article benefited the state,” he said.
Taking a dig at Congress, Modi said, it should “tell people that it will reverse what Modi has done. And when Lok Sabha elections come, mention in manifesto that they will reverse these decisions. Do they have the courage to say so?”
He said the Dalit community in Jammu and Kashmir was deprived of decent jobs there. He said that wards of people belonging to ‘Valmiki’ community were never considered capable of other jobs than sweeping and toilet cleaning for four generations.
Modi also accused the Congress of doing vote bank politics over triple talaq issue, alleging the opposition parties made “every kind of excuse” to stall the law against triple talaq.
“Congress and other parties like them stood like a wall in the way of each betterment and change you have seen,” Modi alleged.
A day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi again rake up the Rafale deal issue, the Prime Minister alleged that the opposition made their “best efforts” to ensure the agreement for fighter jets was cancelled.
“You remember, during Lok Sabha polls, how they made a hue and cry over the Rafale deal. They were beating their chests and made their best efforts to ensure that the agreement for Rafale was cancelled,” he said.
Modi said that he was happy that India had got its first Rafale aircraft.
He said that it was not acceptable to him that country’s soldiers become victims of the enemy in the absence of necessary arms and ammunition.
Modi accused the previous Congress government of putting Tejas project, the home-built jet, on the back burner.
“Don’t know (it was done) under whose pressure. Our government has removed all the bottlenecks and gave wings to this project,” he said.
He said undertaking development and bringing change in people’s lives has always been his priority.
Modi praised Khattar, saying his team has taken Haryana to new heights of development.
He said the more the opposition parties are trying to come together, the more they are falling apart.
Modi began his address by saying the place is not far from here where during Emergency days former Prime Minister Morarji Desai was arrested and put behind bars for 19 months.
Seeking to strike an emotional chord, he said, “when I am amongst you, when I come to Haryana, I always feel like I am coming to my home. Haryana taught me a lot…”