BALLABGARH: Targetting Congress over its “opposition to big decisions” like the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and abolition of triple talaq, PM Narendra Modi on Monday accused the congress party of blocking the path of progress and indulging in apeasement and vote bank politics. Campaigning in a state that contributes significantly to the armed forces, the PM also asked Congress to explain “its love” for Article 370 to families of security personnel martyred in Jammu & Kashmir. “The brave jawan of Haryana who was protecting innocent citizens of J&K, who fell to bullets of terrorists… When his body came back wrapped in the tricolour, ask those mothers how many sons of the soil lost lives because of your love for Article 370 … ask how many were widowed and how many children were orphaned,” Modi said. The PM, who was addressing the first of his four rallies in Haryana — where assembly polls will be held on October 21 — in Ballabgarh, said Congress was a party that had lost touch with reality and was devoid of ideas. While BJP in Haryana has a “strong team and strong captain” in Manohar Lal Khattar, Congress and other opposition parties were “crumbling and desperately trying to keep their leadership together”, said Modi.Modi’s speech was full of references to decisions like acquisition of fighter jets, one-rank-one-pension (OROP) and the surgical strikes, and emphasis on how BJP was committed to strengthening national security. Campaigning for BJP’s candidates from south Haryana, the PM said people had a clear choice – vote for a party weakening the security forces or one working to strengthen them.Harking back to an issue that Congress had turned into one of its major campaigning points against the government in the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year — the Rafale fighter jets deal between India and France — Modi said BJP had remained committed to modernisation of the armed forces despite Congress’ “conspiracy” to cancel the Rafale deal. “There was a conspiracy to ensure that we do not get a modern fighter jet. But despite this, India got Rafale,” said PM. He also blamed Congress for the delay in development of the indigenously built light combat aircraft Tejas, which got operational clearance for induction into the air force this year. “I don’t know what kind of pressure they were under to delay it. We gave wings to Tejas and now it is a proud member of our forces,” said Modi. “I will not allow our jawan to fight without ammunition and modern equipment. Jab tak Modi hai, aisa nahi hoga,” said the PM to loud cheers from the crowd.
He also said arrears worth Rs 900 crore had been transferred to the account of beneficiaries from Haryana under OROP. Reminding people about the surgical strikes, during his first tenure, Modi said while his government had given a free hand to the armed forces to deal strongly with terrorism, the Congress governments had tied the hands of soldiers.(With agency inputs)