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Modi cites khoon ka rishta with Punjab, says Congress let go of Kartarpur shrine in ’71


Patiala: Seeking to strike an emotional chord with voters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cited khoon ka rishta with the state, invoking Bhai Mohkam Singh, one of Panj Pyaras, who belonged to Dwarka in Gujarat.

He was addressing a packed election rally, his first in the state ahead of June 1 voting in the ongoing Lok Sabha poll, at Maharaja Bhalinder Singh Complex (Polo Ground) on his maiden visit to the city as the PM.

Speaking in chaste Punjabi, the PM invoked Guru Tegh Bahadur and Kali Mata to say he considered himself fortunate to kick off his Punjab canvassing from the pious land of Patiala.

Defying a massive protest by farm unions, which were prevented from proceeding to the venue, the PM said: “Mera Punjab se khoon ka rishta hai (I share a blood relation with Punjab), as one of the Panj Pyaras was from Gujarat. And I do not say so because I seek votes. It is out of respect for Gurus and the sacrifice they made for humanity.

Amid chants of “Modi ji ko jai Shri Ram” by supporters at the venue, PM Modi responded in chaste Punjabi: “Is vaar… 400 paar” and “Phir ik vaar…. Modi Sarkar”.

To avert any untoward incident in the wake of 2022 security scare during his Ferozepur visit, when his convoy was stopped by protesting farmers, the PM took the aerial route this time and landed at the nearby Yadavindra Public School grounds in an Army helicopter.

Donning a kesari (saffron) turban, cream kurta and red scarf, he was greeted by state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar; and party's LS candidates Preneet Kaur (Patiala), Arvind Khanna (Sangrur), Geja Ram Valmiki (Fetehgarh Sahib) and Hans Raj Hans (Faridkot).

Recounting the 1971 war when 90,000 Pakistan soldiers were imprisoned by , PM Modi said: “Those soldiers were let off for free. Had Modi been the PM, I would have taken control of Kartarpur Sahib and then freed the soldiers. For decades, people of Punjab and elsewhere have been having ‘darshan' of the shrine across the border using binoculars. After taking over as PM, it was my priority to ensure Sikhs could have actual darshan of the shrine.”

Opening a frontal attack at the opposition AAP and Congress, the PM said the two parties were two sides of the same coin and had formed a “backdoor” alliance. “In Delhi, they are lifting each other on their shoulders and dancing, while over here they are pretending to fight each other.”

“I urge the people of Punjab to be wary of them. On one side is Modi, who has elevated 25 crore people out of poverty, on the other is INDI bloc, which will take away your land,” said the PM.

Accusing the “corrupt” AAP government of ruining the state, PM Modi said: “There has been an exodus of from Punjab. Drugs menace is flourishing. Gangsters and shooters are ruling the state. ‘Mantri-santri' (ministers and police) are doing nothing. And we have a ‘kagazi CM' (CM only on paper), who is busy marking attendance in Delhi before the party high command.”

Touching upon the emotional issue of farmers, the PM said for the past 10 years, the government had been lifting wheat and paddy on MSP and there had been no delay in the disbursal of funds. Besides, the government had increased the MSP on crops by more than two times, said Modi.

Attacking the Congress, he said its “communal and casteist” ideology had led to Partition. “Punjab witnessed a lot of pain during Partition. And strangely they are opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. A number of Hindus and Sikhs had migrated from Pakistan and taken shelter in India. “Is it wrong if I am using CAA to give citizenship to people who were devastated during Partition?” said the PM.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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