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In Gurdaspur, Modi accuses Cong of protecting ’84 riots culprits 

Gurdaspur, January 3

Prime Minister  Narendra Modi, addressing a rally here today, launched a blistering attack on the Congress on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the farm loan waiver issue. 

He accused Congress governments in various states of making “false” promises to farmers on loan waivers. “Amarinder Singh formed government in Punjab by pulling the wool over the farmers’ eyes and selling white lies,” he claimed. On the other hand, his government, he said, had sanctioned grants for realignment of the Sirhind feeder canal. 

“Once this is done, vast tracts of agriculture land in southern Punjab will get better irrigation facilities and Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepur districts will benefit in a big way. 

The PM attacked the Gandhi family for alleged patronage to perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, including Sajjan Kumar. By appointing a “tainted person as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, the Gandhi family has proved it is rewarding those involved in the riots,” he claimed, while pointing out that the accused were brought to book only after his government set up a special investigation team (SIT).

Taking potshots at the Punjab Chief Minister, the PM wondered why the Congress government in Punjab was “so keen to take credit for the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor when the ground work was actually done by the NDA government.”

The PM did not announce any project for the backward border area even as he praised the late BJP Member of Parliament, Vinod Khanna, for several initiatives in the constituency. There was a buzz that the PM would announce an AIIMS, a railway wheel factory (RWF) and cane and wheat research centres.

Starting his speech in Punjabi, the Prime Minister described Vinod Khanna and Dev Anand as two “prodigal sons of Gurdaspur” who catapulted the town to international fame. “I am proud of a visionary leader like Vinod Khanna whose developmental works, including bridges to link Gurdaspur to mainland India, are noteworthy,” he said. The rally was sponsored by Mumbai businessman Swaran Salaria, the BJP candidate for Gurdaspur during the 2017 bypoll. 

The 15,000-capacity pandal was jam-packed by the time the PM reached at 2 pm, an hour behind the scheduled time. As Modi ended his 30-minute speech without announcing any project, the crowd left the venue looking rather disappointed.

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