‘Had I been in 1971, I would have taken Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara from Pakistan’: Modi

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 3:46 pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said had he been in power in 1971; he would have taken Kartapur Sahib from Pakistan before freeing their troops.

Addressing a rally in Punjab’s Patiala — his first in the state — for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls, the Indian PM said Punjab and the Sikh community have always been at the forefront of national-building efforts.

He lambasted the current AAP government over issues of corruption and drug trade.

Modi called Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann only a ‘kagazi Chief Minister’ – a Chief Minister on paper.

During his speech, Modi brought up the emotive issue of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last years of his life and a place sacred to Sikhs, and blamed the Congress for the country’s partition, saying they did it for the sake of power.

The partition left Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab, just a few kilometres from India’s border.

“For 70 years, we could have a ‘darshan’ of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara only with binoculars,” he said.

“An opportunity presented itself to take back the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in 1971 when more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before the Indian Army, and we had the trump card in our hands,” he said.

“Had Modi been there at that time, he would have taken Kartapur Sahib from them and then freed their troops,” he said.

“They [Congress] did not do that, but I did as much I could,” the Indian PM added, referring to the opening of the Kartapur Sahib Corridor in 2019 that made it easier for Sikh pilgrims to travel to the shrine.

Campaigning for Patiala candidate Preneet Kaur, the wife of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the Indian prime minister said he has come to seek the blessings in the land of Gurus “by bowing my head”.

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