At Nanded, PM Modi takes on Cong for 1984 riots; highlights his govt’s relationship with Sikh community

Nanded: As he highlighted several significant initiatives that his government has taken for the welfare of Sikhs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed the Congress, saying that the party has always opposed the community and is still taking revenge for 1984.

“It is due to this that they oppose the CAA that aims to bring Sikh brothers and sisters to India, granting them citizenship,” said PM Modi while addressing an election rally in Maharashtra’s Nanded.

Insisting that the historic city “reflects the purity of India’s Sikh gurus”, PM Modi said that it was his government that brought back the Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan and facilitated the building of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

“We are guided by the principles of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Over the years, we have celebrated the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, and the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji,” said PM Modi.

It isn’t the first time that top BJP leaders are highlighting the initiatives taken by the Centre for the welfare of the community or the significance of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that grants citizenship to Sikh refugees who suffered torture, forceful religious conversion and terrorism in neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Exempting GST on ‘langar’, constructing the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, making Sultanpur Lodhi a heritage city, establishing a chair in the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji at a British university, and providing facilities for Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan and many more such initiatives have been taken by the Modi government over the last 10 years.

At the same time, the BJP also took on the Congress for the 1984 riots, stating that it was the Modi government that established an SIT and re-opened 300 cases, leading to the imprisonment of the guilty and ensuring justice for the riot victims, besides providing them financial assistance.

Similarly, the party maintains that it was revocation of Article 370 that has given equal rights to the Sikh minority in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last October, while addressing a felicitation programme organised by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for the “unprecedented work” done by the Modi government for the Sikh community, Home Minister Amit Shah reflected that the tradition of women empowerment started in the Sikh panth with Mata Khivi’s langar.

At the same time, the BJP leaders are also highlighting the steps the Modi government has taken to empower the Sikh youth with opportunities, stating that, before 2014, just 18 lakh students from the Sikh community had been given scholarships – a number that has risen significantly to over 31 lakh pre/post matric and merit-cum-means scholarships now.

IANS

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