Narendra Modi (right), prime ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat’s chief minister, is being presented with a sword and a memento by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal during a rally in Jagraon yesterday.
Jagraon, Punjab: Accusing the Congress of being involved in umpteen corruption scandals, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi yesterday 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, 145km 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.