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Only BJP-led alliance can secure Punjab, uproot drug problem: Amit Shah

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Ludhiana, Feb 13: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said only the BJP-led alliance can secure Punjab and uproot drugs from the state, even as he made a sharp attack against Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

Amit Shah

Shah, in his first public rally for the February 20 state assembly polls, hit out at the Congress over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and accused Congress leaders of being involved in killing of Sikhs in Delhi.

He also raised the issue of religious conversion of Sikhs and Hindus in the state and lambasted the Channi-led government for 'failing' to check this practice.

Shah also recalled the sacrifices made by the people of Punjab during the freedom struggle and also praised the state for contributing immensely towards making the country self-sufficient in foodgrain production.

Addressing the rally, he said it is only the BJP-led alliance that can secure Punjab, while questioning the ability of rival parties to do so.

Hitting out at Channi, the Congress' chief ministerial candidate, Shah said, "Channi sahib you are dreaming of forming another government. A person who could not secure the route of the prime minister, can he secure Punjab?" He was referring to a "major security lapse" on January 5 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stuck on a flyover in Punjab for 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some protesters in Ferozepur and returned without attending an event at a martyrs' memorial.

"If you cannot provide security to the prime minister, then how can you secure Punjab? Channi ji, you do not have the right to run the administration for one second," Shah said.

He asked the people whether Punjab could remain safe under Channi's leadership and said, "A country is to be run, not a comedy film." Slamming Kejriwal, the AAP national convenor, for playing "vote politics", the BJP leader said the Delhi chief minister does not have anything to do with security. "Can they secure Punjab," he asked.

"Only the NDA-led alliance can secure Punjab," said Shah as he reminded the people about surgical strikes and air strikes against Pakistan following terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama. He claimed that during the UPA regime, terrorists from across the border used to enter Indian territory.

Raising the issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he alleged that the Congress committed "a sin by killing Sikhs in Delhi".

"Nobody can forget the anti-Sikh riots. My eyes well up when I recall them. Channi should explain it," Shah demanded.

He also said it was the BJP-led government which put those involved in the riots behind the bars.

Noting that Punjab experimented a lot, the BJP leader said the state gave many chances to the Congress and Akalis, but the AAP did not deserve to be given a chance for forming the government.

He asked people to give a chance to the BJP in the elections and promised to address the issues of Punjab. "We will build a 'Nawa' (new) Punjab," Shah said.

The BJP is contesting the state assembly polls in alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and the Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt).

Punjab goes to the polls on February 20. The counting of votes will be taken up on March 10.

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