Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally at Sujanpur Tihra on Sunday, took a dig at chief minister Virbhadra Singh regarding the increase in his income due to sale of apples from his orchards.
He said while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said money did not grow on trees, the Himachal CM had reported a 14-fold increase in his income, claiming that it had come from his orchards. “This shows the difference between the statements of the two Congress leaders, and it is now for people to see who is right and who is wrong,” he said.
Adding that the people of HP were honest, peace-loving and brave, he said their bravery on the front was well known, winning them many medals.
Describing the state as the “land of warriers and devtas (deities)”, he said he welcomed all those ex-servicemen who had joined or were in the process of joining the BJP. “It is the party where there is no membership, but there is a relationship,” he added.
He said new policies would be introduced for the development of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, adding that special schemes may be drawn up for other states as well.
Saying that tourism had great potential and expansion of railways could give a boost to the industry, he claimed that as HP had great potential, the BJP, upon coming into power, would develop tourism in the state. It would increase the income of the people and the state and help end the growing menace of unemployment, the BJP leader said.
Praising former CM pRem Kumar Dhumal for his “people-oriented” working, he added that it was due to his hard work and vision that the state was able to get 85 prizes at the national and international levels.
Modi, who was the party organising secretary in the state when Dhumal was the party president, mentioned his long association with the party cadre and people of the state. He claimed that he knew their working style and plight, adding that he would “repay their debt” once he took over the reins of the country.
Snippets from the rally
Crowd sets the mood
The crowd that had gathered at the chaugan (ground) in the morning to hear Narendra Modi at the rally set mood as BJP workers were seen shaking a leg on 'NaMo' numbers sung by a group hired by the party.
Kinnauris make a mark
Heavy snowfall in Kinnaur district did not deter people from attending the rally. They came dancing, singing, playing traditional musical instruments and holding placards with Modi's photograph. Attendees were amazed to see a man dressed in heavy woollens in the comparatively warmer town.
'Parvaton pe jansagar'
Overwhelmed by the public response to Modi's rally, BJP national chief Rajnath Singh said “Lagta hai parvaton pe jansagar umad aaya hai (seems like a sea of people is washing over the mountains).” He added, “I have not seen such a huge crowd in Himachal Pradesh before.”