Taking on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for "its failure to check price rise", BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday said his party would protect the interests of the farmers."The (central) government promised to reduce price rise within 100 days. Have the high prices came down? Has any Congress leader given any reply (in this regard)," Modi said at a public rally here in Hamirpur district, some 200 km from Shimla.Accompanied by the party's national president Rajnath Singh, Modi, donning a Himachali cap, said the Congress leaders were least bothered about the common man.Recalling the contributions of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said: "When Atal-ji was the prime minister, the apple growers were getting remunerative prices for their produce.""Now, the apple growers from Himachal are not getting good prices. But the apple imported from foreign countries is getting good prices," he said.
In a bid to woo ex-servicemen, a major vote bank in the state, Modi said: "It's a land of warriors and martyrs. I welcome the ex-servicemen who joined the BJP. It's the party where there is no membership, but there is relationship."In his speech, the Gujarat chief minister said that sadly a country with a population of 1.25 billion has failed to make a mark at the international level."Our soldiers are beheaded. I have seen soldiers in the Kargil war. I have seen their bravery. They are ready to sacrifice, but our neighbours keep on pressurizing us," he said.