1. Battle for Himachal Pradesh: PM Modi fires Doklam ‘bullet’ on Rahul Gandhi; Army, Kashmir, corruption dominate his campaign pitch

Battle for Himachal Pradesh: PM Modi fires Doklam ‘bullet’ on Rahul Gandhi; Army, Kashmir, corruption dominate his campaign pitch

Himachal election 2017: PM Narendra Modi held two massive rallies in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.

By: | Updated: November 3, 2017 11:07 AM
Addressing rallies in Kangra and Paonta Sahib, PM Modi mocked the Congress as a “laughing club”, and accused the state government it of looting public money. (IE)

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017: PM Narendra Modi held two massive rallies in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. On the day, Congress called calling BJP an ‘anti-hill party’, while CPM launching its manifesto for the state elections. Addressing rallies in Kangra and Paonta Sahib, PM Modi mocked the Congress as a “laughing club”, and accused the state government it of looting public money.

Modi’s talked about various issues, including the Doklam crisis with China, Kashmir issue and the valour of Indian Army, as he lashed out at the Congress ahead of the November 9 assembly election. The prime minister accused the Congress of plundering public money, and aid his government at the Centre has taken on the responsibility of ending corruption. “Khazane par ab koi panja nahin mar sakega”(Nobody can loot the coffers now),”

Modi said in Paonta Sahib. ”The party is an example of a rotten thought process. When we ask for a Congress-free India, we want an India free of this thinking.” The prime minister further said that people across the country were engaged in Swachhta Abhiyan and were “wiping out” the old party whenever they got the opportunity through elections.

Modi asked, how could Congress show the audacity to promise zero tolerance on corruption when its own chief minister, Virbhadra Singh, was facing allegations of graft. “I feel the Congress has become a laughing club. The chief minister is himself out on bail…” The prime minister further asked the crowd whether it could digest the fact that such a chief minister had released the Congress manifesto promising to combat corruption.

References to Dokalam, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Jan Sangh

Modi also targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for meeting the Chinese ambassador during the Doklam standoff earlier this year. “The leader whose father, grandmother and father of the grandmother were PMs of India, and who has been born and brought up in the ruling family, is acting in an insulting way,” Modi said. PM also brought up India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru with a reference to the Jan Sangh, which he said was created to counter the Congress through the efforts of leaders like Shanta Kumar, a former chief minister of the state and a BJP leader. ”

Pandit Nehru… said they’d uproot and throw away the Jan Sangh during its early years,” Modi said. He added that Congres must introspect on why people were punishing it and turning away from its leaders. “But one needs to have soul to introspect.” PM also accused the Congress of allowing the growth of “daanavas”. “It is time to save Himachal Pradesh from those who looted it…from the monsters,” he added.

Five monster theory

Modi said that there are five monsters in Himachal Pradesh that people need to get rid of -— “mining mafia, forest mafia, drug mafia, tender mafia and transfer mafia”.

Congress reaction

After Modi’s scathing remarks, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala dubbed BJP government as “anti-hill states”. He claimed that Modi abolished the special category state status to Himachal Pradesh in 2015. He said that the BJP, which was attacking the Congress on the issue of corruption, should explain the alleged that cases were also pending against the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur in the Supreme Court.

CPI (M) manifesto

The CPI (M) unveiled an 18-point election manifesto in the state, promising to generate two lakh jobs for the youth and a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month. Issuing the manifesto, the party said that it would pursue policies and programmes different from the BJP and the Congress, and that it would play the role of an effective opposition.

Dhumal’s address

Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, dubbed the Congress’ poll manifesto as a “laundry list of baseless promises”. The former chief minister also accused the ruling party of not fulfilling half the promises it made in the last Assembly elections. “Congress has proposed a laundry list of baseless promises as part of their manifesto for the upcoming elections. But they have not realised that they have proposed most of the things they could not fulfill during their 5-year tenure,” he said.

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