Mandi (Himachal Pradesh): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday slammed the Congress for demanding scrapping of the sedition law and revoking of special powers for soldiers fighting insurgencies. “They (Congress) say that there should be talks with separatists, sedition law should be scrapped, special powers to soldiers should be scrapped,” the Prime Minister said in his first election meeting this time in this Himachal Pradesh town, also known as Chhoti Kashi.
Emphasising his bond with the hill state, Modi, donning a Himachali cap, had also addressed an election rally here in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Modi said the entire Himachal Pradesh has a right over him and he has a right over every single resident.
“In 2014, you made BJP victorious on four seats, you gave us abundant love in 2017 (Assembly polls). Today once again I have come here to ask for your blessings. The entire Himachal Pradesh has a right over me and I have a right over every single resident in Himachal Pradesh,” he said in his address that he began in the local Mandyali dialect.
In his speech, Modi also raked up Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “Yesterday, one of the top Congress leaders said the 1984 riots just happened (‘Hua toh Hua’). These three words sum up the arrogance of the Congress,” he told the election meeting.
Taking credit for granting ‘One Rank One Pension’ to defence personnel, Modi said “The Congress has always been habitual of insulting the Indian Army’s jawans. Our government has solved the matter of ‘One Rank One Pension’ which was pending for four decades.”
“For years, the Congress had kept our jawans waiting for bullet-proof jackets,” he said. He alleged that a Congress minister in Karnataka had said that “those who join the army, do so just to fill their stomachs.” “Do the brave mothers of Himachal send their sons to the military as they could not afford two meals a day? Is it not an insult to the brave soldiers?” Modi asked. The hill state, whose economy is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, horticulture and tourism, will vote on May 19 in the last phase for the four Lok Sabha seats of Shimla, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra.