Modi solicits votes in name of Kargil ‘martyrs’: Sonia

Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) : BJP leader Narendra Modi is seeking to make political gains by soliciting support for his party in the name of Kargil heroes, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said here Sunday.

“Unka dil sirf kursi mang raha hai (Modi’s heart only seeks power),” Gandhi said at an election rally here in Himachal Pradesh. “For political gains, he is using the name of martyrs.”

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Gandhi, in her maiden visit to the state that will go to the Lok Sabha polls May 7, said the path being shown by the BJP was that of discrimination and destruction.

“Ek raasta hai Congress ka raasta jispar chal kar aaj desh tarakki ke raaste par yahan tak pahucha hai aur ek doosra raasta hai — BJP ka raasta — woh bhed-bhaav karna seekhata hai (One path is Congress’ path on which the country has progressed well and the other path is BJP’s which advocates discrimination),” she said.

“And you should follow the Congress path, the path of development and prosperity, and strengthen democracy.”

Describing the BJP leader as a “pracharak” or propagandist, she said: “It seems he has started thinking himself to be the prime minister even before the results are out.”

Listing out the achievements of the Congress-led UPA government in the past 10 years, Gandhi said her party didn’t make false promises.

“It’s always working… for the welfare of the poor.”

She promised free medicines and treatment for the poor and pension to the disabled, old-age people and the destitutes.

Lauding the state government’s achievements, Gandhi said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his team has done good work in the state and asked the people for their support to continue the “good work”.

Modi in his election rallies in the state April 29 appealed to voters to ensure his party’s victory in 300 Lok Sabha constituencies of the country.

But his use of Kargil hero Vikram Batra’s oft-quoted phrase “yeh dil maange more” sparked a controversy, with Batra’s parents and the Congress raising objections.

Modi defended his use of the phrase at a 3D rally held a few hours later, saying he would “rather leave politics than insult martyrs and their parents”.

The hill state has four Lok Sabha seats — Shimla, Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur — and the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP.

In the 2009 election, the Congress won the Mandi seat while the BJP bagged the other three.