Jagraon (Punjab), Feb 23: Accusing the Congress of being involved in umpteen corruption scandals, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday said that it was strange that the party was now showing concern about something it had failed to control in the past 10 years.
“I am surprised that Congress leaders are accusing others of corruption. How can they point fingers at others when their own government has seen so many scams?” Modi asked, addressing a the ‘Fateh’ rally in this Punjab town, 145 km from Chandigarh.
“They (Congress) have changed the nomenclature of ABCD. It is now A for Adarsh (scam), B for Bofors, C for Coal scam,” he said, listing the various scandals.
Modi asserted that he would not allow anyone to loot the treasury.
In a reference to the Congress election symbol, Modi said that if he became the prime minister, “I assure you I will sit like a ‘chowkidar’ and ensure that the ‘panja’ (hand) is kept away from the coffers”.
“When Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister, he said that out of every rupee sanctioned from Delhi, only 15 paise reach villages. I want to know which ‘panja’ is robbing the rupee,” Modi asked.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who has been accused by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of not spelling out his stand on the country’s economy, said agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors needed to be promoted to help the economy grow.
“We need industry to take India forward. We need agriculture so that no one goes hungry. The service sector requires least investment… We have not paid adequate attention to this sector,” Modi said.
“Land is not going to increase and land holdings are getting smaller. We have to increase agricultural production by bringing new technology and scientific research.”
Referring to the ‘one-rank, one-pension’ announcement made by the UPA government, Modi said that it had failed to address the issue in the last 10 years.
“The Congress is making false promises and misleading people. I had raised the one-rank, one pension issue during the ex-servicemen rally in Rewari last year,” he said.
Stressing that the Akali Dal-BJP alliance was a permanent one, Modi said that the Congress party had issues with it.
“The Congress has a problem with our alliance also as it reflects Hindu-Sikh unity. Because of this, the Congress policy of divide and rule has failed here,” he said.
Modi also emphasised that no Sikh farmer settled in Gujarat’s Kutch region will have to leave the state.
“Let me assure you that no Sikh farmer will be forced to leave Gujarat. Instead, if any officer has done anything wrong (in this regard), he will have to go,” assured Modi, who is the chief minister of Gujarat.
Lauding the progressive spirit of Punjabis and Gujaratis, he said: “You can go to any part of the world and you will find Sikhs and Gujaratis living there successfully.”
BJP president Rajnath Singh, in his address, said that the electorate was fed up with the UPA rule and wanted a change.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that Modi was the best person to lead the country in the present mess created by the UPA government.