Sikhs won’t forget ’84 riots: PM Narendra Modi in Pilibhit : The Tribune India

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Sikhs won’t forget ’84 riots: PM Narendra Modi in Pilibhit

Reaches out to community that constitutes major vote bank in UP’s Terai region

Sikhs won’t forget ’84 riots: PM Narendra Modi in Pilibhit

PM Narendra Modi being felicitated in Balaghat. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, April 9

Ahead of April 19 first phase polling in Uttar Pradesh’s key segment Pilibhit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made an outreach to the Sikhs in the region asking if anyone can forget what the Congress “did to the community in 1984”.

In strong references to the massacre that left nearly 2,800 Sikhs dead in Delhi and over 3,350 in other parts of India, the Prime Minister took on rivals Congress and Samajwadi Party recalling the tragedy that unfolded in the aftermath of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984.

“The country can never forget what the Congress did to the Sikhs in 1984. The Samajwadi Party is today supporting the Congress. It is the BJP alone that continues to stand in solidarity with our Sikh friends,” Modi said in a maiden election rally in Pilibhit, where the BJP has fielded turncoat and ex-UPA minister Jitin Prasada as its candidate, dropping sitting MP Varun Gandhi, the grandson of late Indira Gandhi.

Speaking to the voters in the northern UP town located in Terai, Modi said, “The Congress fomented the 1984 riots which led to the tragic massacres of Sikhs.”

“The BJP government on the other hand is standing rock solid with the Sikh community. We worked to open the Kartarpur Corridor enabling lakhs of Sikh devotees to visit Kartarpur Sahib across the border. We announced that December 26 would be observed as ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh’s sons who sacrificed their lives for their principles,” said the PM.

He listed other Sikh outreaches by the BJP-led NDA dispensation, including the celebration of Guru Nanak’s 550th Parkash Purb; Guru Teg Bahadur’s 400th and Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th Parkash Purbs.

In a scathing attack on the Congress, the PM said the opposition party has no qualms about disrespecting the national legends.

“The Congress and SP leaders have time for foreign holidays but no time to offer respects at the Sardar Patel statue in Kevadia. What else can we expect from the INDIA bloc parties that are hell bent on dividing India?” Modi asked. He also countered the opposition offensive on farmers’ issue saying under previous governments, the farmers were forced to beg for what was theirs.

“We have given the rightful dues to sugarcane farmers of the region,” Modi said, further assailing the Congress and SP for not attending the Ram Mandir consecration in Ayodhya.

“INDIA bloc leaders disrespected Lord Ram by not attending the ceremony to consecrate his idol in Ayodhya,” said the PM.

At another rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat later on Tuesday, the PM said the opposition INDIA bloc had come together “not to stop Modi but to stop the development of India.”

Pilibhit, where the PM campaigned today, houses a large Sikh community, including many migrants from Punjab. This explains BJP’s past strategy of fielding Maneka Gandhi, a Sikh, from the segment.

Maneka won Pilibhit for the first time in 1989 on the ticket of Janata Dal. She lost the seat in 1991 but won again in 1996, retaining the constituency in 1998 and 1999 as an Independent and in 2004 and 2014 as a BJP candidate.

In 2009 and 2019, Maneka’s son Varun Gandhi won Pilibhit.

Maneka is the sitting Sultanpur MP and the senior most (eight terms) in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

Late on Tuesday night, the PM also held a road show in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai.

Keen contest

While the BJP has dropped sitting MP Varun Gandhi and fielded turncoat Jitin Prasada, the BSP has fielded Anis Ahmad Khan and SP Bhagwat Gangwar. The SP got Pilibhit as part of the UP seat-sharing deal with the Congress

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Congress #Narendra Modi #Sikhs #Uttar Pradesh


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