Union minister for external affairs and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Saturday chose to highlight her Haryana connect while addressing her maiden rally here for the October 15 elections.
“During my recent US trip, people asked me about my home state and I proudly told them that I belonged to Haryana,” said Swaraj, who started her political career by becoming the youngest MLA and a cabinet minister in the Devi Lal government at the age of 25 in 1977.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a huge representation to MPs belonging from Haryana in his cabinet. This has never happened before,” she said, adding that apart from her, General VK Singh (retd), Rao Inderjeet Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar were union ministers.
“We have to pay back Modi by winning Haryana. It is in the interest of the state. Earlier, either there used to be the rule of the arrogant or the rule of loot,” she said.
“It is a different and important election for us. Earlier, we were fighting in alliance with others in the state but this time, the BJP is fighting to form the government on its own. Like we had set a target of 272+ for the Lok Sabha, we have kept a target of 50+ seats for the assembly,” she said.
Swaraj said that cow slaughter would be stopped and stricter punishment for it would be brought in if the BJP was voted to power. “We will give old-age pension of Rs 2,000 per month. On the lines of the Madhya Pradesh government, we will start free pilgrimage for senior citizens,” she said.
“We will provide unemployment allowance of Rs 6,000 per month for Class 12 pass-outs, while graduates and postgraduates would get Rs 9,000 a month,” she said. Haryana’s milk production would be doubled, stadiums would be set up in every block with more coaches, women’s representation in the police would be increased and bus service for girl students would be provided, she added. Asked if she was a contender for the Haryana chief minister’s post, Swaraj declined to comment.
JAMS NEAR VENUE
There was chaos near the Sushma Swaraj’s rally venue due to traffic jams for hours as Panchkula police were missing both on the Pinjore and Kalka roads before the start of the rally. When the rally got over, the traffic jam was again witnessed.
NO TOLL FOR SUPPORTERS
Several vehicles of BJP supporters did not pay the toll at the Chandimandir toll barrier but were allowed to pass. When confronted, Col KJS Sandhu (retd), who is the acting manager at the toll plaza, feigned ignorance.