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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

‘Bangkok, Vietnam’: PM spotlights Rahul’s foreign tour in Haryana poll speech

Without naming former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the prime minister, who was addressing a rally in southern Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri, also took an oblique swipe at the Congress leader over his recent foreign trip.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 15, 2019 16:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally ahead of Haryana Assembly elections, in Charkhi Dadri, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally ahead of Haryana Assembly elections, in Charkhi Dadri, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (PTI)
         

Back in Haryana for the second day in a row, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept his campaign pitch focused on national security and took a sharp swipe at Congress leaders who, he said, were spreading ‘rumours’ about the government’s decision to scrap Article 370.

Without naming former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the prime minister, who was addressing a rally in southern Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri, also took an oblique swipe at the Congress leader over his recent foreign trip.

“The entire country is standing with Jammu and Kashmir with this decision (to scrape Article 370). But some Congress leaders are spreading rumours about this decision in the country and abroad,” the prime minister said.

“Bangkok, Thailand, Vietnam… You (Congress) are free to import abuses from wherever you want, say what you want. But please, don’t backstab India that is moving forward,” PM Modi said.

The prime minister did not explicitly explain the reference to the south-east Asian countries. But it is seen a reference to the buzz on social media about Rahul Gandhi’s recent trip abroad.

Rahul Gandhi’s foreign trip has come up more than once in the poll campaign by BJP leaders in this election season. Before Rahul started addressing election meetings in Haryana and Maharashtra this week, Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party boss Amit Shah had taken potshots at him.

“When elections are being held in Haryana and Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi is on a holiday. I want to tell Rahul Gandhi, you should come to Haryana and tell people whether you support the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir or not,” Amit Shah told an election meeting in Haryana last week.

At Tuesday’s meeting, PM Modi also dared the Congress to announce that it would bring back Article 370 when it comes to power if it was so convinced that the decision to scrap the provision wasn’t in public interest.

PM Modi, who spoke about the steps that his government had taken for ex-servicemen and defence personnel, told farmers that he had started working on stopping water flowing into Pakistan that rightfully belongs to the people of Haryana and Rajasthan.

“Your water has been going to Pakistan for 70 years. I will bring it for you… I will fight for you,” he told them, asking people to vote for the BJP in the October 21 elections to keep the country secure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally was designed to give its campaign for Babita Phogat a hard push.

Phogat, 29, became a household name after ‘’Dangal’’ (wrestling ring), a film about the struggle of her father and noted wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat to train her and her sister Geeta Phogat, became a runaway hit. PM Modi said daughters of Haryana had proved their mettle in all fields and recalled how he felt proud when Chinese President Xi Jinping told him that he had seen Dangal movie.

“Mahre choree choroon say kam hey ke (Is my daughter any less than my son),” he said in Haryanvi.