HOSHIARPUR(PUNJAB): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday criticised the Congress for its 'historic blunder' that let Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak go to Pakistan during Partition.
Addressing his first rally in Punjab for the Lok Sabha polls, Modi tore into the opposition party over its leader Sam Pitroda's remark on the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. A day earlier, Pitroda had said 'hua to hua' (roughly translated as 'it happened, so what?') when questioned by a reporter on the riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Apart from the riots, Modi touched upon Kartarpur Sahib, an emotive issue among the Sikhs in Punjab as the state goes to the polls in the last phase on May 19. "At the time of Partition, barely a few kilometres away, our Kartarpur Sahib was snatched from us. And because of the historic blunder by the Congress, Pakistan has got an opportunity to play with our sentiments," he said.
"What is shameful is that when we came up with a solution for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, Congress 'darbaris' (courtiers) started praising Pakistan. This Congress politics has promoted Pakistan and Pakistan-sponsored terror," he claimed.
Modi was apparently referring to the controversy over Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu's praise for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan over the setting up of a corridor which would allow Indian pilgrims to visit the shrine across the border. Modi held the Congress of guilty of another 'sin', referring to sharing of river water between the two countries.
"Punjab and other areas are in need of our rightful share of water which is flowing to Pakistan," he said, apparently referring to the unutilised water from India's share under the Indus Waters Treaty. "For 70 years, our farmers have been deprived of the rightful share of water, and previous Congress governments did nothing about it," he added.
"For 70 years, the Congress failed to stop the flow of water to Pakistan. They were aware that farmers of Punjab and Haryana needed the water. But they felt stopping the water from flowing into Pakistan will 'upset their vote bank'," he alleged. "I will not let a single drop of water which is our rightful share flow to Pakistan. I will ensure that the water reaches the fields of the farmers of Punjab," he said. Modi described the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance in Punjab as a 'union of hearts'.