Nachan/Fatehpur: Veteran Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his `termite’ remark against the Congress, and ridiculed the BJP leader for frantically holding rallies in the state in a desperate bid to garner support for his party’s candidates in the Himachal Pradesh elections
Reacting to Modi’s `termite’ comment against the Congress, Captain Amarinder said had that been the case, the country would have collapsed by now, instead of progressing the way it had done in the past 70 years. Himachal Pradesh also would not have developed the way it had done under various Congress governments, said the Punjab chief minister, adding that the prime minister’s comments reflected his despair at the anti-BJP swing that had started emerging across the country.
Campaign in support of Congress candidates in Himachal Pradesh in Nachan (Mandi) and Fatehpur (Kangra), Captain Amarinder said it was obvious that the prime minister had realized that the BJP was headed for an electoral rout and had pitched all his personal efforts into salvaging the situation in the bleak hope that he would be able to befool the people.
These last-ditch efforts were unlikely, however, to yield results as the people of the state had seen the devastation wreaked by the BJP wherever it was in power, including at the national level, said Captain Amarinder.
Punjab Chief Minister said that from demonetisation to GST, the Modi-led BJP’s ill-conceived decisions had brought the people to their knees and disillusioned them completely from the party. When demonetisation struck, people did not have money to buy even a cup of tea, he pointed out, adding that with the promised GST money yet to roll out, state governments were having a hard time carrying out any development and welfare works.
Senior Congress leader also ridiculed the prime minister’s decision to bring in the Bullet Train at a huge cost to the exchequer, offering rides at a price higher than airline tickets.
Appealing to the people to vote for the Congress nominees, Captain Amarinder Singh said that with governments in Punjab and other states caught in a financial bind due to the various inconsiderate decisions of the Modi government, the plight of the ordinary people could not even be imagined. But the BJP remained unconcerned, he said, asking Modi if the central government had spared a single thought on how states and people would survive in the absence of funds.
Pointing out that Himachal Pradesh had witnessed huge development on all counts under the Virbhadra Singh government, the Punjab Chief Minister said the people of the hill state wanted continued progress and peace, which only the Congress could give them. The love that Virbhadra has for Himachal Pradesh and its people would ensure that, under his leadership, the state would see another phase of development, said Captain Amarinder. The Punjab Chief Minister stated “These polls are a fight for the future of our children”
Citing the example of Punjab, which was on the path of economic revival since the Congress government took over, Captain Amarinder said Himachal Pradesh, which had already witnessed huge industrialisation under the Congress regime, would also see large-scale employment generation under Virbhadra’s continued stewardship.
Pointing out that Himachal Pradesh today stands out as the best among the states in the field of education, Captain Amarinder said it was clear that the programmes of the Virbhadra government had reached out to the people at the grassroot level. The state had been rated as topper in governance among the small states of the country, and, according to a Media Studies Centre survey, had been rated an honest state, he further noted.
Citing some of the achievements of the Virbhadra government, Captain Amarinder said the poor, needy and helpless people in the state had received assistance to the tune of Rs 56 crore during his tenure, with 30000 people benefitting as a result. Enhancement in income limit to widen the scope of eligibility criteria for welfare schemes, increase in social security pension, implementation of unemployment allowance scheme, besides significant improvement in education and healthcare, as well as housing, irrigation, agriculture and industry were some of the other major accomplishments of the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh over the past five years, he added.