In his first rally for poll-bound Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the upcoming Assembly elections are for taking the state out of uncertainty as he stressed that the BJP and its alliance partners want to build a new Punjab. Addressing a virtual rally for Assembly segments of Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituencies, Modi said the BJP and its alliance partners in the NDA always stood with Sikh traditions.
Modi greeted people in Punjabi by saying "Sat Sri Akal" and recalled sacrifices of Sahibzada Zorawar and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, sons 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He said the BJP and its allies are committed for the development of Punjab as he referred to 11 "sankalps" (commitments) recently brought out for the state. The BJP is contesting the elections in alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt). It was Modi’s first address for the state polls as last month he had to return without addressing a rally in Punjab’s Ferozepur following a security breach. Addressing the rally, Modi asked whether the elections are meant only for just forming a new government.
"Are these elections only for making a chief minister? Are these elections for electing new ministers and new MLAs. No, these elections are for speeding up the state's development and bring Punjab out of the situation of uncertainty," he said. In a scathing attack, Modi alleged that the Congress indulged in the massacre of Sikhs. "But we got the guilty of genocide punished," said Modi as he was referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "The Congress could not even keep Kartarpur in India. But we opened the way to Kartarpur," he said. He said the aim of the BJP and the NDA is "Nawan" (new) Punjab.
Without naming AAP, Modi asked people to remain alert from such people and said they made several speeches regarding the drug problem during the last elections in the state. But they brought this problem to the youth of Delhi, he alleged. "Those people have again reached here and are holding sweet talks and again demanding votes from you. Punjab has to be alert from such people," said Modi. "Today, Punjab does not need hollow promises. It needs honest intentions of the NDA government," he said. Modi said, "Today Punjab needs modernisation at every stage. This work is beyond the capacity of the Congress."
"And also of those who have taken a task to convert Delhi into Jhuggi Jhompri," said Modi in a veiled attack on AAP. For Atmanirbhar Bharat, building a strong Punjab is needed and for this you have to choose "sabka saath, sabka vikas" government, he said. Those people who want to destabilise Punjab, you have to be wary of those, the PM said. "I specially want to appeal to the youth that this is the time to make the right decision and together we will build Nawan Punjab," he said. Punjab's agriculture has always lend strength to India but the outfits which remained at the centre of power in the state what did they give to Punjab farmers, he asked, and then spelled out several pro-farmer initiatives taken by the BJP-led government at the Centre.