PM Modi’s dig at Rahul Gandhi: `Getting lessons on democracy from those blocking local polls’

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Jammu, December 26: Days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that “there is no democracy in India’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took a dig at him saying that those who are blocking local body polls in Puducherry are trying to give him lessons in democracy.

Even after the Supreme Court has directed that panchayati and municipal elections should be conducted in Puducherry, he said while launching the PM-Jan Arogya  Yojna SEHAT Scheme providing free treatment upto Rs 5 lakh to all the populace of Jammu and Kashmir through virtual mode,

Without naming anybody, he said that that there are some people in Delhi who keep on “cursing Modi and use abusive language against me every day’’. “They try to give me new lessons on democracy,’’ he added..

“Main un logo se poochna chahta hoon ki yeh Jammu Kashmir ko dekhiye ki itne kam samay mein unhoney tree-statriya panchayati raj vajvastha ko swikaar karney ka kam kar diya. Lekin dusari aur vidambana dekhiye ki Puducherry mein Supreme Court ke adesh ke babjood bhi panchayat aur municipal elections nahi ho rahe,’’ (I want to ask these people that while a three tier panchayati raj system has been established in Jammu and Kashmir in such a brief period of its becoming a UT, panchayat and municipal elections are not being held in Puducherry despite Supreme Court orders), he said.

“Aur jo log mujjhe lok-tantra ka path padatey hein na unki party wahan raj kar rahi hai,’’ (And those giving me lessons on democracy, their party is  in power there), PM said, telling audience that “you will be surprised that Supreme Court had issued orders for holding local body polls there in 2018, but the government there is dillydallying in the matter as it has no faith in democracy’’.

He said that local body polls were last held in Puducherry in 2006 after many decades and the term of those elected that time ended in 2011.

PM also referred to the PDP-BJP government formed in Jammu and Kashmir after the 2014 assembly polls, saying “there was a time we were part of Jammu and Kashmir government. We had Dy CM and also the ministers, but we pulled out of government’’. “Do you know why?’’ he asked people, adding “our demand was to hold panchayat elections and empower people in villages across Jammu and Kashmir’’.  “On this issue of empowering people, we pulled out of government and stood by you on the road,’’ he added.

PM also invoked Atal Behari Vajpayee’s three principles of Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat, saying that Jammu and Kaashmir is progressing on the path of development on the basis of these three principles. He described the just concluded maiden District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir a moment of pride for India, saying that this is the beginning of a new era and new leadership strengthening grassroot level democracy.

The DDC polls have written a new chapter in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, adding that people standing in queues at the polling booths for hours despite severe cold had a hope for development on their faces and a confidence in their eyes for a better future leaving behind the past. “I feel proud when people even from other political parties say that the elections had been free and transparent,’’ he said and appreciated the security forces, police and administration for achieving this feat.  This has been no small work, he said, adding these polls have further strengthened his belief in democracy.