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Uttarakhand elections: Eye on soldiers’ votes, PM Modi speaks of PoK strikes, OROP

Addressing two rallies in Pauri Garhwal and Pithoragarh, Modi once again raised the issue of surgical strikes and said that while it was a “big event in the military history”, the Congress questioned it.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Dehradun |
February 13, 2017 12:49:48 am
Uttarakhand elections, Uttarakhand polls, narendra modi, pm modi, modi campaign, modi vote campaign, indian express news, india news, elections updates PM Narendra Modi (File Photo)

Targeting the votes of servicemen, ex-servicemen and their families in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday criticised the Congress for ignoring their welfare.

Addressing two rallies in Pauri Garhwal and Pithoragarh, Modi once again raised the issue of surgical strikes and said that while it was a “big event in the military history”, the Congress questioned it. “Do you have to ask for the proof of our soldiers’ valour? Yeh faujiyon ka apman hai ki nahi? (Isn’t this an insult to the soldiers)”, he asked.

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Beginning his address in the Garhwali language, the Prime Minister listed various initiatives his government has taken for servicemen, including implementing the One Rank One Pension Scheme and increasing the amount given to a retired havildar at the time of his daughter’s wedding from Rs 16,000 to Rs 48,000.

In the four rallies he has addressed over three days in Uttarakhand, Modi has repeatedly spoken on these issues.

He criticised the Congress for delaying the implementation of OROP and said while the Congress said Rs 500 crore was needed to implement it, the amount actually needed was around Rs 12,000 crore.

Modi also raised the issue of migration, and noted that many villages in the hills have been abandoned. Promising various initiatives like yoga tourism to check this migration, he said: “Why Bollywood is going abroad for shooting?…We can inspire the whole of Bollywood to shoot in the lanes of Uttarakhand.”

He once again took on Chief Minister Harish Rawat and questioned his decision to contest from two constituencies in the plains, leaving his present seat of Dharchula in Pithoragarh.

“We have seen youths migrating from here for employment, but what is the reason that forced the CM to migrate from here,” he asked, adding that Rawat migrated from the seat as he was unable to face the anger of the people.

“The man who does not love this state… can he ever do any good for you? Can you trust him?” he asked.

Hitting out at the alliance between the SP and Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said: “In Uttarakhand too, the SP and Congress have joined hands and are playing a game from behind the curtains.” He also criticised Rawat and the Congress over the issue of corruption. Notably, the BJP has given tickets to 13 Congress rebels, many of whom have been accused of corruption in the past by the state BJP.

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