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Modi mocks Congress, dubs it a laughing club

Modi mocks Congress, dubs it a laughing club
Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ridiculed the Congress as a -'laughing club-', and launched a blistering attack on the party-'s government in...

Kangra/Paonta Sahib (HP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ridiculed the Congress as a "laughing club", and launched a blistering attack on the party's government in Himachal Pradesh, accusing it of looting public money. Corruption was the leitmotif and Congress the target as the prime minister made a strong pitch for the BJP on his first campaign tour since the election was announced.

Modi, who addressed rallies in Kangra and Paonta Sahib, touched on various issues, including the Dokalam crisis with China, Kashmir and the Army, as he lashed out at the Congress ahead of the November 9 assembly election. He accused the Congress of plundering public money and said his government had taken on the responsibility of ending corruption.

“Khazane par ab koi panja nahin mar sakega”(Nobody can loot the coffers now)," he said in Paonta Sahib. It was not the Congress of Mahatma Gandhi or of freedom fighters but of corruption and dynasty politics, he said in Kangra.

“The party is an example of a rotten thought process. When we ask for a Congress-free India, we want an India free of this thinking." People across the country were engaged in Swachhta Abhiyan and were "wiping out" the old party whenever they got the opportunity through elections, Modi said.

The Congress had promised zero tolerance on corruption when its own chief minister, Virbhadra Singh, was facing allegations of graft, he said. It was time to rid "Devbhoomi", or the land of the gods as Himachal Pradesh is known, of monsters, he asserted.

"I feel the Congress has become a laughing club. The chief minister is himself out on bail..." He asked the crowd whether it could digest the fact that such a chief minister had released the Congress manifesto promising to combat corruption.

Targeting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for meeting the Chinese ambassador during the stand-off in Dokalam earlier this year, Modi said, “The leader whose father, grandmother and father of the grandmother were PMs of India, and who has been born and brought up in the ruling family, is acting in an insulting way."

The Prime Minister also brought up India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru with a reference to the Jan Sangh, which he said was created to counter the Congress through the efforts of leaders like Shanta Kumar, a former chief minister of the state and a BJP candidate. “Pandit Nehru... said they’d uproot and throw away the Jan Sangh during its early years,” Modi said. The Congress, he added, must introspect on why people were punishing it and turning away from its leaders. "But one needs to have soul to introspect." Modi also accused the Congress of allowing the growth of "daanavas".

Castigating the Congress for raising questions on the surgical strikes last year, he said no party or individual had ever questioned the credibility of the Army. “The Congress has insulted the Army and sacrifices made by jawans to defend Kashmir... it was shameful that no leader dared to criticise the senior leader who demanded greater autonomy for Kashmir," he said.

In his view, the Congress was a group of non-serious people, who did not know what they were doing or saying. He also alleged that the UPA government had misled jawans on the issue of “one rank, one pension” (OROP) and said his government had not only fulfilled its promise but already paid three installment of arrears.

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