Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an offensive against AAP, calling it an “outsider” that is “dreaming of creating its own world” at the cost of Punjab and asked voters to send the party back from where it had come.
Modi, who addressed a poll rally in the Malwa heartland, asked the electorate to vote for the SAD-BJP combine for the third time, warning that Punjab as well as the entire nation could face a “crisis” if government led by any party other than the alliance comes to power.
“In this election, to destroy Punjab, it (AAP) is eager to create its own world at the cost of the state. Those who are having such dreams should be sent back to Delhi from where they have come,” he said, apparently hitting out at the new entrant AAP in the state.
He also asked the people to first question AAP as to what it promised and the responsibilities it honoured in Delhi.
“Ask it to first fulfill its responsibility of that place (from where they have been elected). Fulfill the promises made to the people of Delhi,” the Prime Minister said.
Holding that the fate of Punjab is linked with that of the nation, he warned the people of the state that Punjab as well as the country would have to face consequences in case the “government of outsiders and government of people leading a luxurious lifestyle” is voted to power, in an apparent dig at both AAP and Congress.
“When you elect the government you decide not only the fate of Punjab, but that of the country is also linked with it,” he said.
“This is a border state and Pakistan is eagerly awaiting a chance to use the land of Punjab to destroy India. If non-serious (dheeli-dhaali) government comes, government of outsiders is formed and government of those who lead luxurious lifestyle comes, then it is not that only the people of Punjab who will suffer, but the entire nation will have to face crisis,” he said.
Batting for SAD-BJP government for Punjab, Modi asserted that the state required a government of the combine which could guarantee safety of the nation.
Asserting that such kind of politics could never benefit democracy, Modi exhorted the people to save Punjab from plunging back into the period of militancy.
He also lambasted Congress for allegedly painting Punjabi youth as terrorists during the days of terrorism.
“I want to urge you to save Punjab from again going into dark streets (militancy)… I want to remind people of Punjab that during militancy, some people tried to push the growing state into terrorism.
“That time Congress dubbed youths of Punjab as terrorists. They committed a sin by painting each Sikh of Punjab as a terrorist and tried to create a wedge,” he alleged.
Touching upon the drug menace in the state, the Prime Minister stressed on joint action to tackle it, but at the same time hit out at political opponents, saying they had maligned the image of the Punjabi youth by calling them ‘nashedis’ (drug addicts).
“They have committed a sin by maligning the youth of Punjab as ‘nashedis’. Anyone who comes from other states into Punjab for business or trade shall think that the youth here may be drug addicts. Immense damage has been caused to Punjab by such language…do not destroy the future of Punjab’s youth,” he said.
“We will have to fight jointly against drugs…we cannot save the youth by calling them drug addicts,” said Modi.
During the rally, Modi also showered praise on Chief Minister Badal, saying he understood the problems of farmers and that the Akali Dal was working for their welfare in the state.
“Out of all the leaders in Punjab, only Parkash Singh Badal cares for farmers. Can anyone say that there is any farmer leader in Congress or other parties (AAP),” Modi asked.
He said there were only three leaders after Independence who dedicated their lives for the welfare of farmers — Chaudhary Charan Singh and Chaudhary Devi Lal, besides the Punjab CM.
Hitting out at the previous Congress government at the Centre, he alleged it created roadblocks in the path of Punjab’s welfare.
“For eight years of Badal’s 10-year term, the Congress government at the Centre created stumbling blocks in the way of Badal’s work for the progress of Punjab. But he never lost his cool,” Modi said.
“Today the Centre and the Badal government have resolved most of the old issues of Punjab and put the state on the path of development. The state has achieved a new high in terms of growth.
“Had been our government from the beginning, Punjab could have touched new heights of development,” he said.
Seeking votes for the development work carried out by the Badal government in Punjab, he said the Akali-BJP alliance in Punjab and NDA at Centre would bring a new dimension of growth to the state.