At Himachal’s Wuthering Heights before Saturday’s Polls, PM Modi Has 4 Messages for Voters

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In his last push in Himachal Pradesh, which votes on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a strong pitch to women voters to back the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and raised the nationalism card in the state, which has a considerable population of soldier families.

“It is women who have decided to change the rivaz (tradition) of changing governments every five years…so nothing can stop this now,” Modi said in his rallies in the all-important Kangra and Hamirpur districts.

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The PM steered clear of referring to the ‘Old Pension Scheme’ which has become a major calling card for the Congress to woo nearly two lakh families of government servants who stand to gain if the Congress wins the election and implements the same as per its poll promise.

MAHILA WITH BJP

The PM stressed that women in Himachal Pradesh are with the BJP, given the host of welfare schemes given to them, from toilets to houses, gas cylinders, electricity and drinking water. The PM said his party had even come up with a separate 11-point manifesto for women, with a range of benefits promised. He also pointed to free rations given to families during the Covid pandemic, a factor that played a big role in the BJP winning the elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand with women backing the party. Himachal has nearly 48% women voters, whom the BJP is targeting.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Modi had also referred to women, “especially” backing the BJP in Himachal.

NATIONALISM PITCH

In his Hamirpur rally, the PM raised the point that the BJP’s candidate from Sujanpur seat was an ex-Armyman and said he had met a number of ex-servicemen at the rally. “I praise the women who gave birth to them. I went to Kargil this Diwali; I saw pictures of Prem Kumar Dhumal and me going to Kargil at the times of the war. I spend every Diwali with soldiers,” the PM said.

He went on to say neither did the soldiers have enough bullet-proof jackets in the Congress rule nor good shoes in winter, border roads were not made and border villagers were underdeveloped.

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“They duped you for 40 years on One Rank One Pension Scheme. Even now they are making some promises. We gave OROP arrears too. We have spent Rs 60,000 crore on OROP. Ex-servicemen are with us because of the OROP scheme,” PM said.

Modi said the Congress had disrespected an Army chief and questioned surgical strikes. “For us national security is foremost. The Congress adopted scams in defence. We have opened up all the three forces for women as well,” the PM said.

the Congress can’t give a stable and strong government as only news of fights comes from the two states where it is in power. “The Congress is a guarantee for instability and stopping development. The Congress still has its foundation in parivarvad,” the PM said.

He said the Congress does not do any work when in power in Himachal, as it knows that after five years, its government will not come. “So they say mauj karo, so jitna maal ikatha kar saken, tijoori bhar saken,” Modi said, accusing the Congress of corruption.

The PM said it was important that people do not bring the Congress back as it will stop development projects started by the BJP. He said other states such as Uttarakhand had changed the tradition of changing governments recently and Himachal Pradesh should follow suit.

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“This tradition of changing governments every five years has harmed Himachal Pradesh. This adla badli has harmed Himachal,” the PM claimed.

‘MERA HIMACHAL’

The PM also raised his old connect with Himachal Pradesh to say the state will benefit if the BJP wins in the state as he is the PM. “If a PM knows everything about Himachal, its every road and hill, won’t it help you? If people favorable to me are in power here, I can work more for you. Delhi ka faayda bhi lena hai…then make double engine government,” the PM said.

He said the Congress did not let him work for the state when it was in power in Himachal from 2014 to 2017.

“Have the national leaders of the Congress come here in the past five years, besides during Lok Sabha elections, while they were in the opposition? Did they speak on Himachal’s issues in Parliament?

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They are not bothered about Himachal as they feel the government will automatically change after five years. Can you trust them?” PM said in Hamirpur.

Modi said the BJP was taking Himachal on development path through roads, rail and ropeways and said Himachal can become a model state. “The Congress hates development works, it wants to stop such projects. The BJP only says what it can do. And does what it says.”

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