Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi attacked the Congress on Sunday, saying 'ABC' had become the symbol of the party — "A for Adarsh scam, B for Bofors scam and C stood for Coal scam".
"I'm surprised that the Congress is blaming opposition parties for corruption. All scams took place under the Congress rule, yet they point finger at us," said Modi, while addressing a rally in Ludhiana.
Modi also attacked Rajiv Gandhi's prime ministership, saying corruption was prevalent in the country during his tenure. The BJP's prime ministerial nominee said he would act as a gatekeeper for the poor if he became the PM.
"When Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, the Congress ruled from Parliament to the panchayats. The whole system was in the grip of the Congress. During his tenure, Gandhi admitted that for every rupee released by the Centre, only 15 paisa reached the villages. What corrupt force turned Rs 1 into 15 paisa?" Modi said at a rally in Ludhiana.
"If you make me the PM, I will act as a 'chowkidaar' for the money of the poor people. I assure you, I will protect the wealth of the nation from corruption and will use it for the development."
He said the alliance between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP was not just a political alliance but also a symbol of Punjab's social unity.
"All Indians have an equal right over Gujarat, and therefore no Sikh farmer will ever have to leave Gujarat. An officer who wrongs them will go, but my Sikh farmers won't. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one. We believe that all Indians have equal rights over all states," he added.
He further said that he had worked in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh as a BJP worker and learnt governance by observing the leaders there.
"I have worked in Himachal, Haryana and Punjab as a BJP worker. I have seen senior leaders governing their states and I have learnt governance by watching Parkash Singh Badal and other senior leaders," said Modi.
"There is a combination of experience and youth in Punjab in form of Badal senior and Badal junior. The senior Badal focuses on agriculture and farmers, and the junior Badal (Sukhbir Singh Badal) focuses on technology," he said.
All roads to Modi's rally venue were choked with vehicles and people wanting to reach the meeting.
The venue, spread over nearly 300 acres, had giant TV screens installed along with sound systems to ensure that everyone was able to see and hear Modi. Jagraon, where the rally was held, is around 40 km from Ludhiana.
"This is the biggest gathering of people I have ever seen at a rally in Punjab," BJP president Rajnath Singh said.
Nearly 10,000 police personnel were deployed at the venue and on roads leading to it. Every visitor was frisked before entering the ground.
Roads towards Jagraon from Ludhiana and Moga were closed for regular traffic. Only vehicles with valid passes for the rally were allowed to ply on these highways. Other vehicles were diverted.
Authorities had arranged buses and other modes of transport to ferry people for the rally.
With inputs from agencies