Dehradun: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said Uttarakhand has developed on all fronts under the BJP rule and sought another mandate for the party to bring prosperity to every home under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Launching his party’s poll campaign in Uttarakhand at a public rally at the Bannu school ground here, Shah said Modi brought road and rail infrastructure development projects worth Rs 85,000 crore during his tenure and challenged the opposition Congress to show what it had done for the state during its time.
”Congress was in power at the Centre for 10 years under the leadership of Manmohan Singh. What did it do for Uttarakhand during the period? It should tell the people of the state,” he said.
Modi’s vision for the reconstruction of Kedarnath which had suffered extensive damage in the 2013 disaster led to the never-seen-before development in and around the temple, he said.
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The prime minister will unveil a statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya in Kedarnath during his visit to the temple on November 5.
Modi’s forthcoming visit to the Himalayan temple will mark the completion of the first phase of reconstruction works in Kedarpuri and the beginning of the second phase.
Advising people not to make any mistake with their choice in the assembly polls in Uttarakhand early next year, Shah asked them to give another opportunity to the Modi-Dhami team to bring prosperity to every home.
”I had once said Uttarakhand was created by Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji and Modi ji will build it. My words have come true. In the last four-and-a-half years Uttarakhand has developed on all fronts…. Commit no mistake with your choice in these elections. Give another chance to BJP to serve you. The Modi-Dhami team will bring prosperity to every home,” he said.
At the beginning of his speech, Shah also referred to the Rampur Tiraha firing incident in Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh during the peak of the movement for the creation of a separate Uttarakhand state and asked, ”Who ordered firing on the statehood activists?” Six statehood activists were killed in the firing which took place when Mulayam Singh was the chief minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh.
Shah said if people went wrong in their decision this time, a corrupt government will be back to power in the state.
He also launched a frontal attack on Congress campaign head in Uttarakhand and former chief minister Harish Rawat, reminding him of his sting video that surfaced before the 2017 assembly polls allegedly showing him negotiating a deal to buy back support of rebel MLAs.
”Go have a look at your sting video before going to people,” he said.
He also reminded Rawat of the Dennis liquor scam which was unearthed during his chief ministership.
The Congress cannot do anything for the people, he said, describing it as a party which is ”visible only at the time of elections holding dharnas, demonstrations and press conferences.” ”Where were you when the floods came? Where were you when Uttarakhand was battling Corona…. Congress could not implement One Rank, One Pension (for ex-servicemen) nor open bank accounts of the poor despite a family being in power for four generations,” he charged.
Shah said the Congress believes in appeasement and recalled how Muslims were allowed to offer namaz in the middle of highways on Fridays during the Congress rule in Uttarakhand.
He said Modi can understand the problems of the poor, his heart aches for them.
It is due to this that electricity and cooking gas have reached every household across the country. Before 2022-end, every household in the country will get tap water, Shah said.
Shah also praised Dhami for the urgency with which he responded to the recent natural disaster in Uttarakhand, saying he hardly left room for the Centre to do anything.
”Reacting to the crisis immediately, Dhami returned from Ayodhya cancelling all his programmes and began touring affected areas. Relief and rescue operations were launched immediately and not a single pilgrim was allowed to die. When I arrived to take stock of the situation, I realised there was hardly room for me to do anything.” Shah launched three major schemes for the benefit of rural women, including the Chief Minister Ghasyari Kalyan Yojana which will rid women in the hill areas of the compulsion of traversing long distances to fetch fodder for their livestock.
”It will make healthy fodder available at the doorsteps of women in Uttarakhand hills and save them the time they had to spend on walking 8 to 10 km on foot to fetch fodder for their livestock. They can now give that time to their children,” he said.
The computerisation of primary agricultural societies in Uttarakhand and setting up a cooperative training centre were the other projects launched by Shah.
Later, accompanied by Dhami, Shah addressed the Shantikunj Swarn Jayanti Varsh Vyakhyan Mala at the Dev Sanskriti University in Haridwar and spoke at length on the powers of the Gayatri Mantra to bring about positive changes in the lives of people.
Shantikunj is the headquarters of the Akhil Vishwa Gayatri Parivar, a spiritual organisation which has popularised the Gayatri Mantra all over the world.
”If the Gayatri Mantra is recited correctly in the manner prescribed by the Vedas it can pave the way for spiritual awakening and change lives,” he said.
Remembering Shantikunj founder Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya in the institution’s golden jubilee year, he said arrogance and pursuit of material success obstruct the path of divine knowledge.
Shah also remembered Pandit Sharma’s prescription that self-reform is the only way to change the world.
”If you want to change the world change yourself, if you want to reform the world reform yourself,” he said, adding Pandit Sharma’s words are as relevant today as ever.