M A I N   N E W S

Farm to industry, Modi woos all
On whirlwind Punjab tour, rips into ‘ma-bete ki sarkar’
Spells out measures for cotton belt
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday described the current Lok Sabha election as a farewell party for the UPA Government and promised to expose those looting the country once the NDA assumed power.

“We will make all scandals public and bring back every penny stashed abroad. They (people named in scandals) are quivering now because they know after May 16 their misdeeds will be exposed and put before the country,” he said.

Addressing rallies at Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Amritsar in favour of SAD-BJP candidates, Modi took a dig at Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, repeatedly referring to the UPA Government as “ma-bete ki sarkar”. "This mother-son government has ruined the country. You should punish this government by voting it out," he said.

Attacking the Prime Minister, he said Manmohan Singh was brought up in Amritsar and taught in Hoshiarpur, but he did not think of repaying the debt of this land.

In a bid to strike an emotional chord with Punjab, he said, “I know Punjab as much I know Gujarat. I know its problems... I have spent a few years here and have tasted its salt. I am indebted to this land. I was given a lot of respect and affection by the people of this region.” He did not forget to invoke Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Modi vowed to provide a government that would give a befitting response to internal and external problems. We will not sit quiet if Pakistan beheads an Indian soldier, he declared despite a slightly sore throat. He urged people to vote for the NDA for a better future.

Conscious of what to say where, Modi addressed issues concerning the state from farming to industrial development. At Ludhiana, he said he would make the industrial hub a world-class industrial and skill centre.

He turned his focus on issues related to farmers, especially cotton growers, in Bathinda. Punjab being a predominantly agricultural state, he made a mention of issues related to the farm sector and promised to address farmer grievances.

He said the BJP manifesto clearly mentioned that farmers will get priority in the NDA government. Spelling out his '5-F Formula' to people in the cotton-growing Bathinda belt, Modi said, “I have a 5-F formula in mind. It is about farm to fibre to fabric to fashion to foreign.”

The cotton belt would be developed in such a manner that from fibre to fabric, fashion to export of fabrics, all would take place in the Bathinda region.

“A large number of farmers had committed suicides because of the UPA’s wrong policies. A large number of farmers had suffered in Gujarat, too, because the faulty policy on cotton,” he said.

He took the opportunity to praise Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, saying he got his initial lessons in politics and administration from the SAD patron. At all rallies, Modi was accompanied by Badal, who described the Gujarat CM as “our general”.

At Amritsar to address rally in support of party big gun Arun Jaitley, Modi addressed the hot poll issue of sale of drugs. He said the NDA government would enhance border surveillance to stop inflow of drugs from Pakistan into India. He said Amritsar had the potential to become one of the most important centres of tourism, but the UPA government had failed to do so.

In Pathankot, Modi highlighted party candidate Vinod Khanna’s contribution in helping victims of the 2001 Gujarat quake. He introduced the SAD-BJP candidates to people at all rallies.

(Inputs from Jupinderjit Singh, Umesh Dewan, Mohit Khanna, Ravi Dhaliwal and Perneet Singh)





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