Congress ‘enemy’ of development, vote for double-engine government for double benefits: PM Modi at Himachal rallies
Chambi/Sujanpur (HP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday pitched the Himachal Pradesh poll battle as between the “enemy of development” Congress and the “pro-development” BJP, stressing that people will get “double benefits” if his party is re-elected as he will be able to work more for them.
Addressing his last of the four poll meetings in the hill state at Sujanpur in Hamirpur district, he accused the Congress of “betraying” the people of Himachal and obstructing its development when it ran the government here till 2017 after he took office as prime minister in 2014.
If the Congress comes to power in the state, it will not allow his government to work, Modi claimed.
He said he can do much more for Himachal if people “anukul” (favourable) to him are in power here and asked them to break the convention of voting out incumbent governments to ensure the state’s development.
“Congress by nature is an enemy of development. It is the BJP that can take Himachal to new heights of development. Therefore, it is necessary for the BJP government to retain power… It is a straight calculation.
“A BJP government should be formed in Himachal so that it can benefit from Delhi (the central government). It will bring double benefits,” he told people at a rally in Sujanpur in Hamirpur district.
Modi spoke about his familiarity with Himachal Pradesh, a highlight of all his addresses at rallies after the assembly poll announcement, and said as someone aware of issues and people here, he will be able to work for the state while being in Delhi. He listed several measures for its progress after the BJP government under Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was elected in 2017.
The prime minister launched a sharp attack on the main opposition party and linked it with “instability, corruption and scam” at his first rally in Chambi in Kangra district, which has the largest number of assembly seats in the state, and asserted that Himachal needs a stable and strong government of “double engine”.
The Congress failed in its duty as the opposition party in the state, he said, wondering if its central leaders ever came to Himachal over any public issue except during polls or raised any similar matter in Lok Sabha.
If the Congress cannot discharge its role in the opposition, what will it do if it comes to power, he asked. People have decided to send them packing again, he added.
With the state sending a relatively large number of people to defence forces, the prime minister asserted that the security of the country and defence personnel is of paramount importance to the BJP.
He also accused the Congress of “insulting” the Army chief, likening soldiers to goons and raising questions on surgical strikes targeting terror camps in Pakistan. Our government implemented “one-rank-one-pension” while the Congress kept it pending for decades, he said.
Referring to the recent assembly by-election results in which the BJP won four of seven seats and the Congress none, he asserted that while his party is being accepted in the states where it was not traditionally strong, the main opposition party is withering away in places once considered its bastions.
It is due to the BJP’s development works and pro-poor measures that it is re-elected to power in different states, while so much is people’s anger with the Congress that it has not returned to power in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, for decades, the prime minister said.
The Congress is a guarantee of “corruption, scam, instability and obstruction to development” and is rooted in family rule, he said, alleging that its leaders practised corruption and neglected Himachal’s development in the belief that they will come back to power again in five years.
This alternating of power between two parties has damaged the state, he said. “You should not let the Congress enter (the government) again,” he said.
When the Congress was in power in the state, only 10 houses under the Centre’s housing scheme for the poor were constructed here between 2014-17 while around 10,000 of them were built after the BJP took charge.
During its reign at the Centre, the Congress made it mandatory for the small state of Himachal to shell out 40 per cent of expenses for the implementation of central government schemes, he said.
But his dispensation reduced the share to 10 per cent. The state can be an example and inspiration for all small and hill states in development, he said, seeking votes for the BJP.
He listed several projects, including those of building highways and allotment of central educational institutions to the state, and made special mention of schemes for free grains, free cooking gas connections and housing for the poor with a focus on women’s ownership to highlight his emphasis on easing women’s lives.
While there were one lakh women in police forces till 2014, their numbers have risen to around 2.25 lakh now, he said.
He asserted that the people of the state have decided to script a new history and change the precedence of voting out the state government in assembly polls by re-electing the BJP to power. He can sense their mood and resolve after touring the state, he said.
Noting that the Congress is left with power in only two states, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Modi asked people if they have ever heard of them making news for development. It is the reports of internal feuds of the Congress which come out from there, he added.
The BJP is identified by people with good governance and pro-poor policies and that is why it is elected to power repeatedly, he said, referring to the party’s win in several states where it was in power.
The BJP only says what it can do and then works with its full strength to implement its promises, he said.
Other political parties are still rooted in family rule and vote bank politics, he said.
Voting will take place in the state on November 12.