BJP president J P Nadda on Saturday said a ”new” Punjab free of mafia and drugs will be built and the state will be put on the path of development if the alliance led by his party wins the Assembly polls.
He claimed that for the BJP, power is a medium to serve people.
During poll meetings in Balachaur and Rupnagar, Nadda trained his guns at the ruling Congress over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He alleged that Congress members were involved in the riots.
”Their hands were soaked with blood, they put humanity to shame. The Congress created such situation in Independent India where a brother stood against brother,” the BJP national president said.
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He alleged that for 30 years the Congress did nothing and it was only after Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 an SIT was set up and ”the culprits in these riots were put behind bars”.
”I want to ask the Sikh brethren who is your well-wisher?” Nadda said.
He said if there is a time-tested party it is the BJP and appealed to voters to bring the saffron alliance to power in the state, which goes to polls on February 20.
The BJP is contesting the election in alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s SAD (Sanyukt).
”We will make Punjab free of drugs and mafia. Drug menace is eating away Punjab like a termite. Many families have been impacted as lives of youth are getting ruined,” Nadda said.
Sadly, the government seems to be shutting its eyes to the problem, he said and posed, ”When protector becomes partner, what will happen?” ”We will build a ‘nawa’ and secure Punjab. We have to keep in mind that Punjab shares a nearly 600-km boundary with Pakistan whose intent is not good. Every other day they keep sending drones and pushing drugs,” the BJP chief said.
”To fight this, we need a strong government (in Punjab), a nationalistic party which keeps the nation’s interest ahead.” Taking on the ruling Congress, Nadda claimed that while Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP is in power, are witnessing fast progress, their neighbouring Punjab has fallen behind.
”What is the reason that while neighbouring Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have employment avenues Punjab does not,” he asked rhetorically and claimed that ”it is so because the ruling party’s leaders in the state lack intent”.
”If Punjab gives us one chance, we will write a new chapter of development here. We will generate new avenues of employment.” Holding the Congress responsible for ”igniting the flames of terrorism” in Punjab, Nadda said, ”Even today, the way they are dealing, Punjab cannot be prosperous.” The BJP has zero tolerance towards terror and will make the state prosperous, he mentioned.
Throwing a broadside at the Aam Aadmi Party, Nadda referred to a remark of the BJP candidate from Balachaur, Ashok Bath, to accused the AAP of ”selling poll tickets”.
”They (AAP) are wearing a mask of honesty. See, what they have done in Delhi. Do you want to bring such people (to power) here,” he asked.
Rivals of the AAP had earlier accused it of ”selling tickets to the rich and influential”, charges which were outrightly denied by the party.
Nadda touched upon a series of initiatives undertaken by the Narendra Modi government for the welfare of various sections of society, particularly the poor, marginalised, and the underprivileged.
Pointing out the prime minister’s concern for Punjab, he said in the health and education sectors is the state had gained special attention which is evident in the setting up of AIIMS in Bathinda. He also touched upon the Union government’s decision to observe December 26 as ”Veer Baal Diwas” as a tribute to the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh’s four sons, who were executed by the Mughals.
He also talked about the Union government’s decision to allow the Golden Temple in Amritsar to receive foreign funds and sought to remind people that it was the NDA government that waived GST on langar items.