Speaking at his maiden rally in Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi described Himachal Pradesh as ‘devbhoomi’ and said that just as Himachal is the land of Gods, it is also a land of bravehearts and there is a tradition of joining Army in every family.

During his day-long visit, Prime Minister Modi also dedicated three state-run mega hydro power projects to Kol Dam (800 mw), Parbati ( 540 mw) and Rampur ( 412 MW) and remembered former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for laying foundation of the three power projects in Himachal Pradesh.

Talking about his commitment to the welfare of armed forces, Modi today said his government had fulfilled its promise of ‘One-Rank, One-Pension’ for ex-servicemen, while he blamed the previous governments for making shallow promises. 

Previous governments, he said, duped the people by making tall claims and some of them even allocated Rs 200 crore-500 crore in this regard but never did an analysis of cost burden and how it could be executed. 

“I did it and was puzzled to find that the economic burden kept rising. It worked to be more than Rs 10,000 crore,” he said, adding that it was difficult for any government to make such a big allocation in one go.

Talking about the surgical strike, the PM showered praises on the Indian Army. He likened the army’s anti-terror surgical strikes to Israel’s exploits and said the Indian forces have shown they are no less than anybody.

At the ‘Parivartan Rally’, Modi also targeted Virbhadra Singh, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh where elections are due late next year, saying BJP chief ministers dedicated themselves to causes like drinking water and roads while the Congress leader was concerned about his own welfare. 

“Do I need to explain what the current chief minister is known for?” he said.

Recalling the names of BJP leaders who became chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi said BJP Chief Ministers in the state devoted themselves to people’s good.

(With PTI inputs)