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Punjab polls: Modi says AAP photocopy of Congress, both pretending to fight

Punjab polls: Modi says AAP photocopy of Congress, both pretending to fight
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Pathankot: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called the AAP a photocopy of the Congress, alleging that both parties are pretending to fight against each other in the Punjab Assembly elections.

Listing similarities between the two parties, he claimed both of them opposed the Ram temple in Ayodhya and they speak the "language of Pakistan" when Indian soldiers show their valour.

Addressing a rally here ahead of the February 20 elections, Modi also said the Congress had committed a "sin" by failing to keep Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, within India's territory at the time of the Partition.

He urged voters to bring the BJP-led alliance to power in Punjab for the all-round development of the state.

Taking on the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, Modi said, "Both these parties, despite being 'ek thali ke chatte batte' (two sides of the same coin), are now together doing 'noora kushti' (pretending to fight) in Punjab. Have you seen WWF? This is what they are doing. They are pretending to be rivals."

"It is a Xerox copy of the Congress. Everything is the same," he said referring to the AAP.

"See the similarities between these two parties, when the Ram temple was coming up in Ayodhya, both of them opposed it. When India's bravehearts show their valour, leaders of these parties speak the language of Pakistan," he added.

Modi said, "The truth is that if the Congress is the original, then the second party (AAP) is its photocopy."

One pushed the youth into the drug trap and the second party is busy getting the youth of Delhi addicted to liquor. One looted Punjab and the second is committing scams one after another in Delhi, he alleged.

Modi said the Congress has now got a "partner in crime". He also pointed out that the Congress had extended support to the AAP when it fell short of majority in its first Delhi Assembly elections.

Targeting the Congress over Kartarpur Sahib, Modi asked the gathering, "Have they committed a sin or not?"

He said the party crushed people's sentiments. Could they not understand that Kartarpur Sahib was just 6 odd km away? Should it not have been included in India's territory?

Later, the opportunity to include Kartarpur Sahib in India's territory was missed again during the wars of 1965 and 1971 with Pakistan, he said.

Modi said if the government of the day had the guts, it could have bluntly told Pakistan (in the 1971 war) that their 90,000 prisoners of war would be released only if India got Kartarpur.

The prime minister said it was the good fortune of the NDA government which later realised the dreams of thousands of devotees, who could earlier only catch a glimpse of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara across the border, when the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was built.

He also hit out at the Congress over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "We punish the culprits of these riots, whereas they reward them with big positions in their party," he said.

Criticising the Congress for seeking proof of the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force inside Pakistan's Balakote after the 2016 Pathankot terror attack, Modi said, "They questioned the valour of the soldiers. Didn't they?"

"They even wanted proof of valour, courage and sacrifice of our soldiers," he said.

"You decide whether the security of Punjab, which is a border and sensitive state, can be handed over to such people," he added.

Modi urged the people of Punjab to vote keeping in mind the security of the state and the country.

"Today, I have come here to seek something. Give me five years to serve you. I assure you farming, trade and industry will be made profitable," he said.

On the development of border areas, he said a special provision has been made in the Budget whereby "vibrant villages" will be developed along the borders and skill, infrastructure, tourism and industry will be developed in these areas.

Recalling his connection with Pathankot and its people, Modi said while working as an ordinary worker in Punjab, he used to travel on two-wheelers and trains.

Sometimes, while travelling from Jammu to Delhi, people would come and hand him tiffins, he said, adding that he can never forget the love and affection the people here have given him.

"I spent so many years amongst you and grew up eating your bread. But the way I and the BJP got a chance to do 'seva' (service) in several states in the country, that kind of opportunity I did not get in Punjab," he said, appealing to people to bring the BJP to power.

Attacking the BJP's rival parties, Modi said, "We see Punjab from the Punjabiyat angle. For us, Punjabiyat is the priority. But our rivals see Punjab only through the political prism."

He invoked Sant Ravidas, a Bhakti movement poet-saint, and said his government is following his ideals, and the welfare of the poor is its top priority.

The prime minister arrived here to address the rally after offering prayers at the Shri Guru Ravidas Vishram Dham temple in Delhi's Karol Bagh on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti.

He also said the Centre and the BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh are making all efforts to facilitate in every manner devotees from around the country who are visiting Varanasi on the occasion of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.

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