Ludhiana, Punjab: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said no Sikh farmer settled in the Kutch region of Gujarat would have to leave his farms.
At his “Fateh Rally” at Jagraon in Ludhiana district of Punjab, he said a “misinformation” campaign was on. “No Sikh farmer was being uprooted from the Kutch area. I declare every Indian has as much right over Gujarat as Narendra Modi has,” he said.
“If any official is found guilty of harassing any Sikh farmer, the official will have to go. My brothers (farmers) will stay. I decided this much earlier; today I’m reiterating it.”
Reports of Kutch farmers being ousted came as a major embarrassment for the SAD-BJP coalition in Punjab.
The Congress had accused the state government of double standards and betraying the farmers.
Modi said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his Gujarat visit had spoken to Sikh farmers settled there. “The lies spread about the Sikh farmers being dispossessed of their land in Kutch stood exposed when Badal spoke to them,” he said.
He lauded the contribution of Punjabi farmers in making the Kutch area a prosperous region. “The Gujaratis and the Sikhs are enterprising communities who have made themselves at home in foreign lands,” he said.
Accusing the Congress of following a “divide and rule” policy, he said the policy failed in Punjab as the people voted for development under the Akali-BJP government.