BENGALURU/DHARMASTHALA/BIDAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into Congress on multiple fronts on Sunday as he termed senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s remarks on autonomy for Kashmir as an insult to Indian soldiers and accused the Congress of speaking the language of separatists and Pakistan. Modi, who addressed rallies in Karnataka that goes to polls next year, also came down heavily against those critical of his government’s digital banking initiatives and implementation of GST.
“Implementation of GST was a collective decision of all parties. We are open to incorporate changes to make the system better,” he said in Bidar before winding up his visit.
Addressing BJP workers on his arrival in Bengaluru from Dharmasthala, Modi asked the former Union Home Minister Chidambaram and his party as to why they are lending their voice to those who want Azadi in Kashmir. “All of a sudden today, those who were in power in the past are making U-turns.”
“Congress besharmi ke saath us bhasha ka prayog de rahe hain, jo Kashmir ki dharti par alag vaadi karte hain, jo Pak mein bola jata hai (Congress is shamelessly using the language that is used by separatists in Kashmir and which is spoken in Pakistan).”
“Can the nation really benefit from such people who are intent on playing politics with the nation’s brave? The Congress needs to answer this, we won’t allow a compromise on the country’s unity,” Modi said.
Chidambaram on Saturday had said that “the demand in Kashmir Valley is to respect in letter and spirit Article 370. And that means that they want greater autonomy.”
Earlier in the day, Modi lambasted opposition leaders who were critical of his government’s digital banking initiatives by describing them as ‘Tees Maar Khan’ - a colloquial phrase used for those who pretend to be smart.
Speaking at an event organised by Shri Kshetra Dhamasthala Rural Development Project to distribute RuPay cards to 1.2 million people at Ujire, about 50 km from Mangaluru, he lashed out at opposition parties who were skeptical of the success of cashless banking.“But (Veerendra) Heggadeji (the Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala) has given a fitting reply to them today,” he said.
Addressing a rally after inaugurating Bidar-Kalaburgi railway line, Modi explained the benefits of Direct Benefit Transfer System and GST. He said it helped the government to check corruption. About
`57,000 crore which earlier used to go to middlemen is now going directly to the rightful beneficiaries, he said.
Modi exhorts startups in B’luru on clean energy
Modi who was in Bengaluru to participate in a spiritual fete, was all praise for the city’s fame as the innovation capital of the county. He exhorted the Startups in the city and the young scientific minds to take the lead in ushering in a movement for clean energy. He wanted the startups to make clean cooking economical through innovative solar cookers and other devices that could directly benefit the poor.
Congress disowns PC comment on J&K
The Congress sought to distance itself from the remarks of former Union minister P Chidambaram on J&K, saying the “opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party”. Chidambaram, at an interaction in Rajkot on Saturday, pitched for greater autonomy for the restive Jammu and Kashmir yet again, drawing stinging criticism from the BJP, with Union minister Smriti Irani calling it “shocking and shameful.