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BJP fighting polls on false issues: PM
Published on 2 May. 2009 11:43 PM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of fighting the elections on the basis of “false allegations” against the Congress party and also of lying on issues concerning farmers in the country. Addressing his first poll rally in the state in this town on the Pakistan border for Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat’s Congress candidate Jagmeet Singh Brar, the prime minister tried to strike a chord with the state’s farming community, saying that it was the Congress which had ensured a huge loan waiver scheme, got higher prices for wheat and paddy and lowered the prices of manure. “The BJP and its partners are still looking for issues. Everyday, they are trying to create new issues. They only want to fight elections on false allegations and not on issues. They are making directionless allegations against the Congress,” Manmohan Singh said in Punjabi, addressing a big gathering, 260 km from Chandigarh. Targeting the state’s ruling BJP-Akali Dal, he said: “The BJP and Akalis are shamelessly saying wrong things about issues concerning farmers. They are telling lies and the farmers will not forgive them. The BJP and Akalis only talk loud. They don’t do what they say. You can go and ask them what they have done for farmers in their six years of rule (1998-2004). They just saw the ‘tamasha’ (fun) for these six years.” The prime minister, clad in a ‘kurta-payjama’ and his trademark blue turban, made a 28-minute address - highlighting the schemes and programmes that his government had introduced and implemented in the last five years. “Our government has taken strong steps for farmers and other sections of society. Be it the highest price (minimum support price) for foodgrains or the Rs.70,000 crore (Rs.700 billion) bank loan waiver for farmers, we have done everything to lessen the problems for farmers. We alone understand their pain,” he pointed out. Manmohan Singh, who is the first Sikh to ascend to the country’s top political post, said that he was personally monitoring various programmes and policies for farmers. “Over 4.21 lakh (421,000) farmers in Punjab have benefited from the bank loan waiver scheme. The amount of loan waived was over Rs.1,200 crore,” he pointed out. Ridiculing the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab and alliance partner BJP for trying to offer a loan waiver for farmers in the future, Manmohan Singh said, “They are promising loan waivers now. What have they done for farmers? Was the Akali-BJP government sleeping earlier?” he asked. Seeking support of the people of Punjab for Congress candidates, the prime minister said that he was looking at better things ahead. “I want to think ahead. There are new roads ahead. We want to add new colours to the green revolution ushered by this state,” he added. He admitted that unemployment and drug addiction had become a major problem in Punjab. The prime minister’s visit saw a united face of Punjab Congress leaders like former chief minister Amarinder Singh, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, state Congress working president Lal Singh and Jagmeet Singh Brar.

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