Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his Jammu visit on Friday with a tribute to the late Congress politician Girdhari Lal Dogra whose son-in law is Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and an apparent dig at Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Modi is in Jammu to take part in the centenary celebrations of Dogra. He was received at the airport by Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and several senior cabinet ministers. Jaitley accompanied Modi.
"After dying, there are very few politicians who stay alive in public memory. They are usually forgotten soon," said Modi. "But there are some individuals who in their work and life stay alive many years after their death. I believe that Giridhari Lalji is one of them," he said.
"Kursi di na di, beti zaroor di (He didn't give his political seat, but agreed to give his daughter's hand in marriage to him," joked Modi, drawing on the connection between Dogra and Jaitley. "Even though his ideas did not at all match with his future son-in-law's."
He did not miss the chance to slip in a barb about Vadra.
"Mr Dogra was a good judge of character. The example is the son in law he chose," said Modi. "In this case, the son-in-law is not known for his father-in-law. There are some who do not bask in their in-laws' glory. We all know how political damads (sons in law) can be," he told a tittering audience inside the packed Zorawar Singh auditorium of Jammu University.
Security has been beefed up in and around Jammu ahead of Modi's visit, against the backdrop of several infiltration attempts from across the border.
Modi is expected to release a massive "development package" of as much as Rs. 70,000 crore, according to reports.
The venue had been sealed and the entire University turned into a fortress. The area around the venues of Prime Minister's visit had been properly sensitised and adequate deployment made.
The Pakistani side has been continuously resorting to ceasefire violations as the army foiled an infiltration attempt in Poonch while another bid was foiled by the BSF in RS Pura sector.
(With PTI inputs)
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