Modi invokes Pakistan, terrorism threat to seek votes for Akali-BJP alliance
Invoking possible threats from Pakistan and the fear of revival of terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged people in Punjab to vote for the Akali Dal-BJP alliance to provide a strong and stable government in the border state.
Without naming anyone, Modi warned people not to vote for parties who are eyeing to form the government for their vested interests. The veiled reference was to the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
"Punjab a border state. Pakistan always looks for opportunities to destabilise Punjab. If a weak government or a government of outsiders or a government of those indulging in luxuries comes, this will be bad for Punjab and the country," Modi said in this town of Punjab's agricultural Malwa belt, 225 km from Chandigarh.
"We have to ensure that we have a strong government. You should ensure that you vote properly."
Elections to 117 assembly seats in Punjab take place on February 4 with the main contest being among the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007, Congress and the AAP.
Expressing apprehension that some people could revive terrorism in Punjab, Modi warned people against being misled by the Congress.
"Congress leaders painted all Punjab Sikh youth as terrorists. Now Congress has called all Punjab youths drug addicts. Save Punjab from people who will drag the state back to the dark days," Modi warned.
In an obvious reference to the Congress and the AAP, Modi lamented the declining standard of language being used during campaigning in Punjab.
"I am pained to hear what all sorts of things are being said for Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal," Modi said.
"Very wrong words are being used for him (Badal). This is dictatorial language. Can democracy work like this? If democratic traditions are broken, it will be bad for the country. People who have done injustice to Anna Hazare, do you think that they will show regard for Badal?"
He said that in his political life he had held two leaders, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Parkash Singh Badal, in high regard as they never talked ill of anyone.
"We should learn from these leaders how to conduct in public life. We have also fought against the Congress. But we do not talk saying that we will send so and so to jail," he said.
He said the AAP leadership, instead of finding faults with the Election Commission and alleging that the EC was dancing to his (Modi's) tunes, should focus on its work.
"They (AAP leaders) will lose in Punjab and Goa because of their own 'kaarnamas'(deeds)," Modi said.
Lauding Badal for public service in the past seven decades, Modi said: "Badal only thinks and talks of Punjab and its people and farmers."
The Prime Minister dwelt at length on the new schemes and policies introduced by his government at the Centre for the benefit of farmers. These include micro-irrigation, crop insurance from natural calamities, modernising agriculture through technology and others.
Modi also assured that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will fully investigate the incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and bring the culprits to book.