Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: Shah’s campaign trail targets jibes at Rahul, Digvijay
Hopping from one rally to another across western Madhya Pradesh, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday exhorted people to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, cracked jokes and took jibes at the Congress for what he called its misgovernance and dynastic rule.
As poll campaign heated up in Madhya Pradesh in the run-up to the November 28 assembly election, Shah stepped up his offensive against the Congress, taking potshots at its president Rahul Gandhi and former chief minister Digvijay Singh.
Addressing multiple rallies on a day of hectic electioneering across Chhindwara, Balaghat and Jabalpur regions, capped with a road show in Katni, Shah exhorted people in his meetings to raise slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in such a loud voice so as to reach Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigning in distant Mizoram in the Northeast.
As he travelled from one rally to another, Shah waved at people from his chopper, cavalcade and dais, cracked jokes in his speeches, targeted the dynastic rule by four-and-half generations of the Gandhi-Nehru family, and mocked Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to rise to power now.
He peppered his scathing attack on the Congress with jokes and light-hearted banter. While seeking vote for BJP candidates in the region, he once asked one candidate to come forward and not hide behind, saying it was his area and he was the most important person at the moment.
He also hit out at Rahul Gandhi, repeatedly calling him “Rahul Baba” and said he was also “flying here and there, somewhere nearby”, referring to the Congress leader’s campaign in the area on the same day.
Declaring that Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Shah asked Gandhi who was his party’s candidate.
“They don’t have a leader whom people of the state will accept,” Shah said, while making fun of the Congress saying it was very brave of its leaders to aspire forming a government.
“I heard Rahul Baba saying they will form the government. I checked whether it’s day or night and found it was day only. I said Rahul Baba, dreams should come during night only,” Shah said, leaving people in a peel of laughter.
He listed all the states where the Congress was ousted from power and the BJP formed the government.
He asked tribal residents at one rally whether ‘Bijli Rani’ (power) used to come to their homes when ‘Diggy Raja’ was in power, alleging there was no electricity during former Congress government headed by Digvijay Singh, the last chief minister of the grand old party in this vast state.
Shah said the BJP government has ensured there is 24/7 power supply now.
He said farmers are now getting loans without any interest as against whopping 18 per cent during the Congress rule.
On questions being raised by Rahul Gandhi seeking a report card of the Modi government, Shah said even a Yuva Morcha leader of the BJP would be good enough to answer the Congress leader.
Shah also talked about surgical strike on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) as he listed out achievements of the Modi government and referred repeatedly to former prime minister Manmohan Singh as “Mauni Baba”, mocking his reticent nature.
At his rally in Balaghat, Shah apologised for the delay in his arrival and making the people wait.
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But soon he was back at attacking the Congress. “Whenever elections come Rahul Baba starts talking about farmers but as soon as elections are over, he leaves for foreign vacation.” Promising to come back to talk in detail, Shah also reeled out figures about the central assistance and other development works done by the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state for the people.
He accused the Congress government of scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore covering all aspects of the universe -- from space, sky, land, seas to ‘pataal’.
He also hit back at Congress leaders for their ‘chowkidar chor hai’ barb at Prime Minister Modi, saying people are smart enough and they don’t believe these “thieves” who have come together in the name of ‘maha gathbandhan’ or grand alliance.
For full coverage on Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018 click here