Press Trust of india

Modi accuses Congress of using General Rawat’s cut-outs for votes

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Srinagar (U’khand):  Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress on Thursday of abusing former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat when he was alive and using his cut-outs now for votes.

Addressing a rally in Uttarakhand’s Srinagar ahead of the February 14 state Assembly polls, Modi said it is the Congress that had asked for proof of surgical strikes against terror hideouts in Pakistan.

“Its leaders in Delhi had asked for proof of the surgical strikes on television,” he said.

Reminding people that a Congress leader had even called General Rawat a “streetside hooligan”, the prime minister said they are full of hatred for the armed forces.

If that was not the case, they would not have “lied” to the armed forces on “One Rank One Pension” for decades, he said, adding that OROP could finally be implemented only when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre.

Describing the Congress as a party with a single-minded pursuit for power, Modi said it can never understand the price of “sacrifices”.

He also charged the Congress with indulging in politics when General Rawat was appointed as the country’s first CDS.

“The responsibility of giving the Congress a fitting reply in the coming polls for showing disrespect to General Rawat and using his name politically rests on the shoulders of the people of Uttarakhand.

“Won’t you give them a strong reply to deter them from repeating what they have done?” the prime minister asked the gathering.

Praising General Rawat, Modi said his memories make him emotional.

The former CDS showed that the people of Uttarakhand are not just as tough as the mountains but their thinking is also as high as the Himalayas, he noted.

Accusing the Congress of being opposed to the very creation of Uttarakhand, the prime minister said by talking about establishing a Muslim University in the state, the opposition party is once again resorting to its vote-bank and appeasement politics.

He appealed to people not to let the grand old party succeed in its “game plan” and to vote for the “double-engine” government that has started the process of development in the state.

Modi urged the people of Uttarakhand to say no to the Congress’s politics of appeasement for the development of the state and the future of youngsters.

He said when former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee created Uttarakhand, he had big plans for the state’s development, but the Congress government that came to power at the Centre after him blocked the process, which could be resumed only after a “double-engine” government was formed in 2017, referring to the BJP being in power both at the Centre and in the state.

Modi alleged that the Congress governments of the past had not thought about the state’s development and forced people to migrate from the hills in large numbers by denying them basic infrastructural, educational and health facilities.

He said the BJP’s Vision Document 2022 released on Wednesday will help make the decade that of Uttarakhand by improving the lot of farmers, women and youngsters.

Steps such as multi-model cargo terminals and logistic parks, besides the big road, rail and air connectivity projects coming up in the state will give an unprecedented boost to tourism and employment opportunities, Modi added.

The prime minister also spoke about his love for Uttarakhand, recalling that he came to Kedarnath when the last phase of the 2019 general election, including that of his own constituency Varanasi, was yet to be conducted in Uttar Pradesh. “Baba Kedar called me and I came,” he said.

Modi said though he met people through virtual rallies during the COVID-19 pandemic, he always yearned to meet them in person and take their blessings.

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