By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 5 Apr: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a scathing attack on Congress and the Gandhi family over corruption and accused the party leadership of speaking Pakistan’s language. Addressing a huge public rally at the Parade Ground here, today, Modi came down hard on the Congress leadership for its promises and its views in respect of issues concerning national security and defence personnel. He accused it of being blind towards the needs of defence personnel and of putting their lives in grave danger by doing away the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). Fully aware of the fact that issues concerning defence forces and national security would resonate well in Uttarakhand, Modi spoke at length on these issues and accused Congress of not caring for the welfare of defence personnel. Not only this, he also claimed that it was difficult to recollect any defence deal done by Congress leadership about which allegations of corruption and commission were not levelled. He reminded that the forty year old demand for One Rank One Pension had been ignored by the Congress governments and it was his government that implemented this demand. Modi claimed that the Congress was not concerned about the welfare and security of the defence personnel and was promising to do away with AFSPA. This could put the lives and safety of the defence personnel posted in disturbed areas in peril. Even the terrorists and separatists could file FIRs against them without any basis. If such a thing happened, which mother in the country would want her sons to join the army, he asked. Modi also charged the Congress leadership with being involved in corruption scandals in all matters. He added that country’s resources, whether in earth, water or sky, were plundered by the Congress leadership. Mentioning the scrapped AgustaWestland helicopter deal, the PM referred to the recent charge-sheet filed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate and reminded that certain AP and FAM had been given commissions for the deal. It had been revealed that this AP was none other than Ahmed Patel, while according to the charge-sheet FAM meant the Family. He claimed that everyone knew which family was Ahmed Patel closely associated with. Who got the commission he asked. He said the Congress stood totally exposed when as a Chowkidar of India, he was able to bring back British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the helicopter deal from Dubai for interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Modi added that top Congress leaders and the “Family” were now out on bail and were evading jail. He also reminded that there was a time no one could dare to touch the family members and they could just go in and out at airports without any checks. They were even provided vehicle escorts right up to the aeroplanes. Modi also came down hard on Congress for appeasing Pakistan by promising to remove AFSPA and holding talks with separatists. Congress sought to protect anti-nationals through these measures, which was shocking. The armed forces were in Kashmir because they were being protected under the provisions of AFSPA, he said, adding that Congress merely cared to get votes and ‘notes’. He recalled that the allies of Congress were threatening to divide the country and even demanding a separate Prime Minister for Jammu & Kashmir, which was not acceptable. Modi asked the gathering if this was acceptable for them and whether Congress ought to be punished for remaining silent over such actions of allies. He lambasted the Congress for advocating the repealing of the sedition laws and emphasised that those working against the country needed to be punished. He also claimed that the divisive elements were happy with the manifesto of Congress which was a sham otherwise and added that the people in Pakistan were particularly happy with this document. He added that the tukde-tukde gang was pleased by the Congress ‘dhakoslapatra’. Seeking to strike an emotional chord with the middle class of the country and the state, Modi also claimed that Congress was seeking to punish the middle class of the country by burdening them with additional taxes. Without naming Sam Pitroda, Modi referred to him as a ‘guru’ of the Gandhi family and claimed that he had called the middle class as greedy and selfish in a TV interview and sought to burden them with additional taxes so that the promise of NYAY minimum income support scheme promised by Congress could be implemented. Modi said that it was due to honesty and integrity of the middle class that his government could manage to provide free LPG connections to 7.5 crores poor women, could manage to launch Ayushman Health Scheme for the poor, could ensure construction of 1.5 lakh houses for the poor and 10 crores toilets for the poor. Slamming Rahul Gandhi without naming him, Modi also added that he observed today that the so called apostle of peace pushed away media persons when asked about corruption in the helicopter deal just because he was feeling that ground was sinking below his feet. Modi also reminded that the projects related to Chardham All Weather Roads and Railway line from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag were in full swing and soon enough Ganga would also be fully cleaned up. He reminded that Haridwar would host the Kumbh Mela in 2021 and promised that it would be organised on a much grander level than the much acclaimed Kumbha Mela held at Prayag recently. Earlier, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat welcomed Modi on the stage when he arrived at the Parade Grounds from Jolly Grant Airport. Among those present on the dais included senior state ministers including Satpal Maharaj, BJP Executive President Naresh Bansal, party MPs and Vijay Bahuguna. Almost all the state level party leaders were present on the occasion.