GURDASPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday accused the Congress of protecting those involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying such leaders were even rewarded with the chief minister’s post.

The jibe, apparently directed at Kamal Nath, the new Madhya Pradesh chief minister, came during a rally where he also charged the opposition party of deceiving farmers with loan waiver promises.

Kamal Nath has in the past denied such allegations over the riots, saying he had nothing to do with them.

The planned corridor between a gurdwara here and a Sikh shrine in Kartarpur, just a few kilometres across the border with Pakistan, also figured in the address.

Modi said the entire country had waited for justice for the past 35 years and wanted Congress leaders to be punished for it. Even today, this demand is there, he said.

He alleged that files on such culprits were kept under wraps on the suggestion of one family , an apparent reference to the Gandhis.

In an indirect reference to the recent conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in one riot-related case, Modi added, The NDA government pulled out such files, set up the SIT (special investigation team) and now the results are before you.

Modi also attacked the Congress for charging him with corruption in the Rafale deal with France for 36 military aircraft, saying the party was spreading lies to weaken the defence forces.

He said the country needed to be wary of the Congress, claiming its history had been the glorification of one family .

He said it was made up of people, who even today oppose the raising of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai slogans, whose history is of the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in cold blood, and those who even today reward the riot accused with the chair of the chief minister .

Modi accused the national leaders at the time of Partition of failing to ensure that Kartarpur, where the founder of Sikhism spent his final years, did not go to Pakistan.

For seven decades, devotees could get a glimpse of the historic gurdwara only through binoculars, he said.

He said the NDA government took the historic decision to build the Kartarpur corridor, which will link Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to Kartarpur Sahib.

Without taking names, Modi took a dig at Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who went against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s advice and travelled to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the planned corridor.

He said the Congress leaders gave an opportunity to Pakistan through that trip.

He hit out at the Congress for playing politics of lies and deceit on farm loan waivers.

The Congress fooled the people for decades with the slogan of Garibi Hatao’ (remove poverty) and now it is deceiving the country in the name of loan waivers, he said.

The prime minister claimed this happened in Punjab as well, saying the Congress government in the state had waived only a small portion of the loans.

Modi made similar claims about the Congress promises before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the recent assembly elections in Karnataka.

Arrest warrants are being issued against farmers for not paying back loans in Karnataka, he claimed.

He said while the Congress governments had delayed the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, the BJP government at the Centre had implemented its recommendations on minimum support prices (MSP).

Those who failed to find a solution to the farmers’ woes for decades and kept delaying the decision on MSP, are now again throwing dust in the eyes of farmers with their false promises, he said.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur attended the rally, held by the BJP and the SAD to thank the prime minister for the development of the region. PTI