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Now, Modi invokes 1971 Indo-Pak war

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Patiala, May 23: Noting that more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered in the 1971 Indo-Pak War, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted if he had been in power he would have taken Kartapur Sahib from Pakistan before freeing their troops.
Addressing a rally at Patiala, his first in the state for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls on June 1, Modi said Punjab and the Sikh community have always been at the forefront of national-building efforts, even as he lambasted the current AAP government over issues of corruption and drugs trade.
He called Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann only a ‘kagazi CM’ — chief minister only on paper.
Modi brought up the emotive issue of the gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib, a place sacred to Sikhs as Guru Nanak Dev spent the last years of his life there, and blamed the Congress for country’s partition, saying they did it for sake of power.
The partition left Kartar Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab, just a few kilometres away from the border with India. “For 70 years, we could have a ‘darshan’ of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara only with binoculars,” Modi said.
He said opportunity presented itself to take back the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in 1971 when more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before the Indian Army and “we had the trump card in our hands”.
“Had Modi been there at that time, I would have taken Kartapur Sahib from them (made it part of Indian territory) and then freed their troops,” he said.
“They (Congress) did not do that, but I did as much I could,” Modi added, referring to the opening of the Kartapur Sahib Corridor in 2019 that made it easier for Sikh pilgrims to travel to the shrine.
Campaigning for Preneet Kaur, the wife of former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who is BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Patiala, Modi said he had come to seek the blessings in the land of Gurus “by bowing my head”.
Other BJP candidates — Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda, Arvind Khanna from Sangrur, Hans Raj Hans from Faridkot and Gejja Ram Valmiki from the Fatehgarh Sahib seat — were also present on the stage as Modi spoke, donning the traditional Sikh turban.
Punjab has given leadership to the country in various sectors, from agriculture to industry, Modi said. But, the current “fiercely corrupt” Bhagwant Mann government has changed all that, he added. “Trade and industry are leaving Punjab while the drug trade is growing. The entire state government is running on debt.” The government’s writ does not run here while sand and drug mafia, and shooter gangs’ rule, the prime minister said.
“All ministers are enjoying and the ‘kagazi CM’ is always busy marking his presence in the ‘Delhi darbar’.
Can such people bring development in Punjab?” He also took a dig at the AAP and the Congress for fighting the Lok Sabha polls together in Delhi and against each other in Punjab.
“In Punjab, they are fighting against each other in elections just to show to people. Delhi’s ‘fiercely corrupt party’ and the party which is guilty of anti-Sikh riots are enacting a drama of fighting against each other),” he said.
‘If Cong has its way, those who say ‘Ram Ram’ will be arrested’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday claimed that if the Congress has its way, it will arrest everyone who says “Ram Ram”, and accused the party of dividing India and creating two Muslim nations to appease its vote bank.
Hours before campaigning for the sixth round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls came to an end, Modi at a rally in Haryana’s Mahendragarh also claimed that the INDIA bloc is talking about having five PMs over the next five years. “The fight over ‘ghee’ has broken out in the alliance, even before the cow has given milk,” he said.
Targeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose TMC like the Congress is part of the INDIA bloc, Modi said though the Calcutta High Court has cancelled the OBC certificates given to Muslims in the last 10-to-12 years, she is not ready to accept the verdict.
“Till I am alive, no one can snatch the reservation for Dalits and tribals,” Prime Minister Modi asserted while campaigning for Dharambir Singh, the BJP’s candidate from the Bhiwani-Mahendragarh Lok Sabha seat that goes to polls along with the nine other constituencies in the state on May 25.
The INDIA bloc is “extremely communal, casteist and nepotist”, he said while alleging that when the Congress was in power, it did not allow the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“In Haryana, everybody says ‘Ram Ram’. People say ‘Ram Ram’ after every 10 steps,” Modi told the gathering at his third rally in the state.
“But if the Congress has its way, it will arrest those who say ‘Ram Ram’,” he said.
Till the time the Congress was in power, it did not allow the Ram temple to be built, Modi alleged while slamming it for rejecting the invitation for the consecration ceremony of the temple in Ayodhya.
The prime minister alleged that an “advisor” of the ‘shehzada’ — a reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi — has revealed that if the Congress comes to power, it would want to put a lock on the Ram temple. (PTI)

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