Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for not attending a function presided over by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to pay tributes to those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
"There is a difference between 'rashtra bhakti' (patriotism) and 'pariwar bhakti' (loyalty to family). I have known Capt Singh for decades and never questioned his patriotism. But I can understand the pressure built on him for this 'pariwar bhakti' and the tactics being adopted in Punjab. The captain too had to bend before it," Modi said.
The prime minister was addressing an election rally here in support of Union minister Jitendra Singh who is seeking re-election from the Udhampur parliamentary constituency. This was the second election rally addressed by Modi in the Jammu region during the past 18 days.
Referring to Punjab chief minister's absence at the commemoration ceremony organised by the Union Ministry of Culture, he said, "It is necessary to expose these people. Yesterday when the whole country was paying tributes to those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Congress was busy in playing politics," he said.
"The vice president went to Jallianwala Bagh to participate in a government function to pay tributes to the martyrs but the Congress chief minister was missing. He boycotted the function because he was busy with Congress 'pariwar bhakti'," the prime minister alleged.
Lauding the valour of security forces, he said the question is why the Congress is "fearful and frustrated" when it hears about surgical and air strikes in Pakistan.
"The countrymen feel proud after hearing such things. The morale of our forces also go up, but the Congress is busy in politicking," he said.
The prime minister paid tributes to father of the Constitution B R Ambedkar and also greeted people on the occasion of Baisakhi.
He also paid tributes to state general secretary of BJP Anil Parihar, his brother Ajeet Parihar and RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma who were killed in separate terrorist attacks in Kishtwar district.
Modi said they sacrificed their lives for the nation and they will always be remembered.