BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi accused the UPA government of hitting the country’s farmers and soldiers while promoting liquor lobbies.
Addressing a well-attended rally in Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh on Friday, he said foodgrains filling the country's godowns were left to rot despite a Supreme Court suggestion that it be distributed to the poor. “But the UPA government dumped the court's request into a dustbin. The foodgrains were allowed to rot and later sold to liquor lobbies at throwaway prices to increase liquor production,” Modi said.
“The Congress wanted to use the liquor to intoxicate people so that it continued to remain in power at the Centre,” he said.
Continuing his tirade, Modi accused the central government of being totally apathetic to the country's security at the borders. He said Pakistan's radio and TV channels can be heard and watched in Kutch in Gujarat and anti-India propaganda provoking people's sentiments are permitted to be beamed into Indian territory.
“No other country in the world allows anti-national propaganda inside their borders. I am tired of urging the central government to allow access of Indian TV and radio in the Kutch area but the government continues to turn a deaf ear to the request,” he said.
In Mandla earlier, Modi tried to strike a chord with the largely tribal gathering at his rally by saying they have a close emotional relationship with the people of Gujarat as they drink the same Narmada water flowing through their lands.
The Mandla Lok Sabha seat is reserved for scheduled tribes and has been voting the BJP to victory continuously since 1996 -- except the last time when the Congress won.
In an attempt to portray the Congress as anti-tribal, Modi asked the gathering if Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, during his visit to Mandla and meeting tendu leaf-plucking tribals, asked them about the price rise. “No”, was the resounding reply.
Modi was referring to Gandhi's recent visit to the district and his meeting with tribal women engaged in plucking tendu leaves, which are commonly used to tobacco to make bidis.