Pathankot, June 23: Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's election campaign chief Narendra Modi on Sunday invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee while wooing Kashmiri youth and said it is time for the country to start from where Vajpayee had left. Modi accused the Congress-led UPA of being indifferent towards the aspirations of the Kashmiri youth.
The Sankalp rally in Madhopur was held to observe the 60th death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee but Modi chose the occasion to kickstart the BJP's campaign for next year's Lok Sabha polls.
The Gujarat CM also took a dig at the Congress over its "two power centres" and said it was not clear who among the two was the genuine chief.
Modi stressed the importance of the Kashmiri youth in the development of the nation but alleged that the UPA government couldn't succeed to provide them with proper opportunities. He said it was important to give chances to peace, unity and harmony instead of arms and bombs.
He said given a proper chance, the youth of Kashmir can compete with youngsters from across the country. He also cited a recent report on 300 students from the disturbed state joining classes in Kota in Rajasthan for engineering and medical courses.
Referring to Vajpayee, Modi said had the got another term in 2004, he would have healed Kashmir's wounds. He said the problems of the Kashmiri Pandits and issues related to differences in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir would have been resolved.
The Gujarat CM also praised the role of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and blamed some vested interests in the neighbouring country for disrupting proceedings. He slammed the UPA for failing to rise to the occasion on issues like the fatal attack on Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail, beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistani counterparts near the Line of Control and alleged killing of Indian fishermen by Italian marines.
While speaking Shyama Prasad Mookerjee's "sacrifice" for the unity and integrity of the country, Modi said India was witnessing more threat to its unity and integrity under the UPA.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and BJP's in-charge of Punjab Shanta Kumar, national general secretary J P Nadda, actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, Punjab president Kamal Sharma and others were present at the rally.
Narendra Modi welcomed at Madhopur, Punjab
Narendra Modi welcomed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
BJP Sankalp Rally, Madhopur, Punjab
Narendra Modi addresses the BJP Sankalp Rally.
Narendra Modi at Sankalp Rally, Madhopur, Punjab
Narendra Modi at the "BJP Sankalp Rally" in Punjab, at the occasion of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Martyr's Day.
Narendra Modi and Punjab Chief minister Prakash Singh Badal
Narendra Modi and his counter part Punjab Chief minister Prakash Singh Badal.