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Modi berates Uttarakhand growth, Rahul Gandhi on Lokpal bill

Dehradun, Dec 15 : The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday criticised the Uttarakhand government over the state's under-development and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over the Lokpal Bill, saying the ruling party was hypocritical on the issue.


"I want to ask him (Rahul Gandhi) a question. If you are so worried about corruption, I want to ask you that during the tenure of (former Uttarakhand chief minister) B.C. Khanduri, a Lokpal Bill was made and after reading it, Anna Hazare congratulated Khanduri," Modi said at his first rally in Uttarakhand since being named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

"Tell me, if you like the Lokpal so much, why did your party not allow it to be implemented in Uttarakhand?" the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

On Saturday, Gandhi appealed to all political parties to support the Lokpal Bill.

Modi hit out at the Congress-led Uttarakhand government and asked the people to give him a chance to serve the country.

"You've experimented a lot, trust us once. I promise we will do everything to fulfill your dreams," Modi said.

He said there was a lot of water in the hills but still there was insufficient electricity.

"There is so much water in the hills but the nation is in darkness. What is the reason behind it? We can generate power through water in the mountains, but these people have no time," he said.

Youth of the hill state were suffering due to lack of development, Modi said.

"The youth of Uttarakhand are leaving (the state) because of lack of opportunities. There is scope for tourism but no growth," he said.

"They want people to remain poor, so that their government can go on," he said.

Modi also criticised the state government for not allowing him to visit the state during the devastating floods in June.

"I am pained at how heartless politics can be... so that one is not allowed to even share grief with loved ones, one is not allowed to wipe their tears? In that time of pain, I came running to Uttarkahnd but political heartlessness forced me go away from here. That pain still hurts my heart and mind," he said.

Modi also backed Baba Ramdev and accused the Congress of hounding the Haridwar-based yoga guru.

"The amount of strength they are putting behind Baba Ramdev, if half of it they had put behind the flood victims, people would not have been so wretched," he said.

Modi said it was former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who gave them Uttarakahnd.

"Then the Congress came to power in the state. Vajpayee gave the state a 10-year economic package. But look what the UPA government has done? It has taken away the benefits Vajpayee gave you," he said.

Modi said the Uttarakhand government has failed to tap the tourism potential.

All Indians want to come to the holy state of Uttarakahnd once in their lifetime. "Not only India, we can bring the world to the feet of Uttarkhand," he said.

He said there should be train connectivity to Uttarakhand from all over the country.

"Shouldn't there be a train from Kerala, won't it boost tourism? The government only wants trains to come to Delhi," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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