December 8, 2022

Congress blew chances to bring Kartarpur into India: PM Narendra Modi | India News – Times of India

PATHANKOT: PM Modi accused the Congress governments of the past of letting go three opportunities to keep the holy Sikh shrine of Gurdwara Kartapur Sahib in India, which is now in Pakistan and barely 5km from the Punjab border. Speaking at an election rally close to the India-Pakistan border on Wednesday, he called Congress and AAP chips off the old block — “One looted Punjab, while the other is involved in scam after scam in Delhi”.
He said the Congress leadership of 1947 didn’t consider keeping Kartapur Sahib with India and during the 1965 India-Pakistan conflict, when the Indian Army was advancing towards Lahore, it could have included Kartapur Sahib by moving a few steps ahead. Then again during the 1971 war, India could have demanded Kartapur Sahib in exchange for 90,000 Pakistan PoWs.
Modi said his government has done what Congress failed to do all these years—opening the Kartarpur Corridor for pilgrims to visit the shrine. People no longer have to get a ‘darshan’ of the shrine through binoculars, but can go there and pray, he said.
Modi said Congress politicians questioned the army’s bravery when six terrorists from Pakistan attacked the Pathankot air force station in January 2016. “And even on the anniversary of the Pulwama attack, Congress kept attacking them. Now, they are again asking for proof of the bravery of our army.”
He alleged that Congress gave plum posts to those involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, while the BJP government put them behind bars.
Inveighing against Congress and AAP together, Modi said: “Congress now has a partner-in-crime to support its misdeeds. The two parties share a lot of similarities. They together opposed building the Ram temple in Ayodhya. If Congress is an original copy, AAP is its Xerox.”
He alleged that Congress and AAP were playing ‘noora kushti’ (fixed fight) and were just pretending to be against each other in the elections.
Appealing to the people to vote for BJP and alliance partners Punjab Lok Congress of Capt. Amarinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s SAD (Sanyukt) this time, Modi “complained” that Punjab hasn’t given an opportunity to the party to serve them (it was a junior partner in three Akali governments since 1997, though). SAD and BJP have parted ways over three farm laws a couple of years ago.
The PM said he received “motherly love” from the people of Pathankot when he came to this frontier cantonment town riding a two-wheeler or by train in the past en route to J&K. Striking an emotional chord with the people, he said: “Majha ki mitti nay ma jaisa pyar aur sneh diya hai (soil of Majha has given motherly love).”
Modi also recalled an old relation between Majha—the region in Punjab where Pathankot is located—and the Kashi Vishwanath temple of Varanasi. “Majha has a special bond with Kashi Vishwanath as the temple’s domes were covered with gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.”
In his nearly hour-long speech, Modi said: “We will make a strong and prosperous Punjab and not a helpless one… BJP wants a nawan, hasda, vasda, nachada and charda Punjab (BJP wants a new, smiling, prospering, dancing and rising Punjab).”

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