With days to go before voting commences in Punjab, electioneering is going on in the state at a feverish pitch. Friday was a busy day as political bigwigs descended upon the state.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in the Akali Dal assembly stronghold of Majitha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi, flanked by the state's chief minister, pulled another show in Jalandhar and AAP national convener as well as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took on Congress's CM candidate Captain Amarinder Singh by addressing a rally in Patiala- Captain's constituency.
No points for guessing that each took potshots at the rivals while rooting for the state leadership in the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
Narendra Modi started the rally in his signature style, urging the people to chant 'Bharat Mata ki jai,' and went hard on the Congress.
Calling the grand old party a "sinking ship" and "history", Modi called upon the voters not to vote for Congress in the coming assembly elections.
"The Congress is a sinking ship. The Congress is history. It is on its last breath," Modi said.
"The country has seen the politics of destruction for 70 years and the youths of this country are suffering due to it. If you want to do politics, do politics of development," Modi said while challenging the opposition parties to change the political discourse in the country.
He said Congress is "like water and changes it shape to suit its political needs". Modi invoked the Congerss party's past of sketchy alliances with other parties, while comparing it to Parkash Singh Badal's long political career.
"The Congress is a strange party. It has no principles or rules. To survive politically, the Congress, which joined hands with the Communists in West Bengal earlier after opposing them for decades, has now joined hands with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. It saw an opportunity after a feud in SP so it went ahead to butt in their and reap political benefits," he said.
"On the other hand, look at Badal sahab. He has been in public life for so long, but neither his heart changed nor his alliances," Modi added.
"Teen mahine kya kya zulm hue hain mujh par kyunki mai bhrashtachar ki ladai lad raha hoon lekin Modi hai, zulm ke saamne nahi jhukta (In these three months (post-demonetisation) I was targeted and victimised a lot of times just because I fight against corruption. But Modi doesn't bow down in face of atrocities)," Modi said.
He also brought up the politically sensitive issue of Sutlej Yamuna Canal and said Punjab has the right to use water for irrigation.
Modi said waters from Indus river which flow into Pakistan as waste will be brought to Punjab. Haryana and Punjab are locked in a bitter legal and emotional battle over the issue for the past several years.
Modi also tried to subdue the anti-drug narrative, which is being played up by the Congress. With Rahul Gandhi raking up the issue of drug menace in the state at a rally in Majitha, Modi hit back at him, saying, "Some people are taking politics to a new low by tarnishing the image of the youth of Punjab."