Kangra :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi with senior leader Shanta Kumar at an election campaign rally in Kangra district on Thursday. PTI Photo    (PTI11_2_2017_000067B) *** Local Caption ***
Kangra : Prime Minister Narendra Modi with senior leader Shanta Kumar at an election campaign rally in Kangra district on Thursday. PTI Photo (PTI11_2_2017_000067B) *** Local Caption ***

Accuses Congress of allowing the growth of “daanavas”.

Kangra/Paonta : 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, reports PTI.

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…”

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”. “It is time to save Himachal Pradesh from those who looted it…from the monsters,” he added.

There are, Modi said, five monsters in Himachal Pradesh that people need to get rid of — “mining mafia, forest mafia, drug mafia, tender mafia and transfer mafia”. Exhorting people to come out to vote in large numbers, he said he wanted record polling this time.

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