Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh): Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a swipe at Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh by asking the people to throw the Congress government, which was "on bail", out of the state.
Launching the BJP's campaign in the poll-bound state, he said the top Congress leadership was wary of taking action against Singh as it too was "sailing in the same boat".
Modi was addressing the "Abhar" rally of the BJP in Bilaspur after laying the foundation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Kothipura in Bilaspur district, Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in the Haroli constituency in Una and dedicating a steel processing plant at Kandrori in Kangra district online from the Water Sports Complex on the banks of the Gobind Sagar dam.
"The entire family of the chief minister is facing corruption charges and is on bail. When I asked some Congress leaders why the chief minister was not being replaced, they said how could the party take action when its entire top leadership itself was on bail," he said.
Singh is facing money-laundering charges and a disproportionate assets case.
Asserting that no case of corruption had surfaced since the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre three years ago, Modi said till 2014, the newspapers were full of reports about scams, be it the Coalgate or the 2G scam, and asked the people of Himachal to "throw out the government on bail".
The saffron party was fully geared up to take up the reins of power in the state and fulfil the dreams of the people of a clean and efficient government, he added.
The NDA government believed in development and currently, 13 major projects involving an investment of Rs 15,000 crore were under implementation, which would accelerate the economic activities and generate employment, the prime minister said.
He promised that all the four crore left-out families in the country and those living in "jhuggis" (slums) would be provided free electricity connection within the next 1,000 days and claimed that about 70-80 per cent of the target had already been achieved.
Modi said roads, electricity, a clean environment and modern facilities would not only benefit the people, but also give a boost to tourism, which is a major employment-generating industry in the state.
Expressing his "special" love for Himachal, the prime minister said the AIIMS, to be set up at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore, would have 30 super-speciality units, 15 to 20 operation theatres, a 750-bed hospital, a medical and a nursing college and added that the "state-of-the-art" institution would not only cater to the need of Himachalis, but also of those leaving in the adjoining areas and tourists.
As regards the IIIT at Una, he said it would usher in a "new era of digitisation" and prove to be a "landmark in building a modern Himachal".
Modi alleged that the Rs 70 crore steel processing plant was delayed over the last 10 years due to a "tussle between different departments" as there was "a prime minister in every department and thus, decision-making suffered", adding that he sorted out the issues and the project was through.
Modi also lauded the media for highlighting last year's surgical strikes by the Army on its first anniversary, which he said boosted the morale of the armed forces and proved that "hum kisi se kam nahin (we are no less than anybody)".
He said he wanted do a lot for Himachal, which he described as the "land of gods, brave mothers and brave soldiers" and added that there was hardly any village in the state which had not contributed at least a soldier to defend the borders of the country.
The acceptance of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) demand of the ex-servicemen was the "fulfillment of a promise" made to them, the prime minister said, adding that three instalments of the arrears had already been paid and the fourth one would be released soon.
Lauding Union Health Minister J P Nadda for launching the 'Indradhanush' scheme with an aim to achieve total immunisation of the children in the country against dreaded diseases, he said the third phase of the drive had been launched to ensure that every child was vaccinated before Diwali.
Earlier, Modi, who was accompanied by Union ministers Chaudhary Birender Singh and Satyapal Singh, was received by Himachal Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Singh, Union ministers Nadda and Thawar Chand Gehlot and former Himachal chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal among others.
The chief minister presented a traditional Himachali cap, a shawl and a 'thangka' painting to the prime minister.
The 68-member Himachal Assembly is likely to go to polls in November....