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PM attacks Congress over farm loans; promises to break back bone of terror in J-K

twitter-logoPTI | February 3, 2019 | Updated 20:32 IST

(Eds: Incorporates related stories) Leh/Jammu/Srinagar, Feb 3 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday attacked the Congress, terming its promises of loan waiver an election gimmick, and promised to break the backbone of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The prime minister also empathised with the pain of displaced Kashmiri Pandits during his whirlwind day-long tour of all three regions of the state. He inaugurated and laid foundation stones of a number of projects for the regions, including an AIIMS, a transmission line, a university, new building of Leh airport and a rural BPO among others. In a stern message to terrorists in Srinagar, Modi said surgical strikes have shown to the world the new policy (neeti) and tradition (reeti) of the country in responding to acts of terror. "I assure all the youths of Jammu and Kashmir and the country that the government will give a befitting response ('muhtod jawab') to every terrorist. We will break the backbone of terror in the state," he said. Paying homage to those killed while fighting terrorists, including Nazir Ahmed Wani and Aurangzeb from Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said heroes are those who live to fulfil dreams and the biggest cowards are the ones who kill others' dreams. "Today the whole country is angry to see the killings of innocent and armless Kashmiri youths. (They are targeted) because these youths want to live and fulfil their dreams. But they are targeted by terrorism. This is the truth of terrorism here," he said. Modi said the surgical strike has showed to the world India's new policy and tradition to check terror, and the government will fight terrorism with all its might. The prime minister also launched various projects under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) . He also interacted with students from across the country through video conferencing in Srinagar. During his rally in Vijaypur in Jammu where he was welcomed by a rapturous crowd, Modi talked about a "very emotional issue" of Kashmiri Pandits, saying he has been bearing the pain of their exodus. He said the central government is committed to ensure respect and dignity of the displaced community. "The pain that they had to undergo, that they had to leave their homeland. I have never said this before but I have been feeling their pain within me," the prime minister said. Starting his trip from Leh, the prime minister took on the Congress, saying people sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Delhi do not know the importance of Rs 6000 to a distressed farmer in a far-flung area. "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a phenomenal scheme for farmers. People sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Delhi do not know what Rs 6,000 means for a poor farmer living in distant and difficult areas of the country," Modi said in Leh. To woo distressed farmers ahead of the general elections, the Centre has in the Interim Budget announced direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to those holding cultivable land up to two hectare. Ahead of elections, Modi also made a pitch for his return to the post, saying he will return to inaugurate schemes for which he is laying foundations stones today. "I have inaugurated schemes which I had inaugurated earlier and I will come back to inaugurate schemes for which I am laying foundation stones today," he said. He said the foundation stone for Rs 2,000 crore Leh-Kargil transmission line which will reduce power problems in the area was laid by him and he is inaugurating it too. "Our work culture is different. Country has left behind work culture of delay and deflect ('Latkane' aur 'Bhatkane'). I have to oust this culture from the country in the coming five years. It is ensured that the project which is initiated is completed on time," the prime minister said. The Congress had promised to waive farmers' loans worth Rs 6 lakh crore in 2008-09, but it gave a loan relief of Rs 52,000 crore only on getting power, he claimed. "A CAG report found that about 25-30 lakh people who got loan waiver were not even eligible for it," Modi said at a rally at Vijaypur in Jammu. Ridiculing the loan waivers given by the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the prime minister said some beneficiaries have been given cheques of Rs 13 only. He said under his direct benefit transfer PM-KISAN scheme, Rs 75,000 crore will be allocated annually. It means Rs 7.50 lakh crore will be deposited in farmers' accounts in the next 10 years. "People know the track record of the country's 'naamdar'. They get 'fever' of loan waivers just before elections... They try to act as 'messiah' of farmers by announcing farm loan waivers once in 10 years," he said referring to the UPA rule. PTI ABS/AKV AAR

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