PM Modi out on campaign blitz in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan capitals before polls
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accused the Congress party of poor governance and nepotism at campaign rallies in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hit out at the Opposition in twin campaign rallies in the capital cities of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan ahead of crucial assembly polls, accusing the Congress of dragging its feet on women’s reservation and blaming the party for poor governance and nepotism.
In events in Bhopal and Jaipur, Modi took on the Opposition, calling the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) a “ghamandia” (arrogant) alliance and holding the Congress responsible for keeping the people of India poor and forcing them to live in misery for decades.
“Who gave the slogan of eradicating poverty 50 years ago? Did Congress fulfil its promise? No. I want to share with you one more statistic. In just five years of the BJP government, 130 million people have come out of poverty in the country. This is the result of Modi’s guarantee,” said the PM in Bhopal.
“Congress has lost all its willpower. The grassroots leaders of Congress have been sitting quietly with their mouths locked. First, Congress was ruined, then they became bankrupt and now they have given their contract to someone else. The party is no longer being run by its leaders. Now it is outsourcing everything, from slogans to policies, and this contract is with some urban naxalites,” Modi added.
The high-voltage events came just months ahead of scheduled assembly polls in the two states. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is looking to return to power, while in Rajasthan, a state where the incumbent is usually voted out, the BJP hopes to dethrone the Congress. Assembly polls in Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are also scheduled later this year in what is seen as a virtual semi final before next year’s general elections.
In both state capitals, Modi extensively spoke about the women’s reservation bill, which set aside a third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures for female lawmakers, and was passed in the recently concluded special session of Parliament. He sought to contrast his government’s efforts at pushing through the historic legislation with the stumbling efforts of previous administrations in passing such a law, saying the Opposition backed the bill out of compulsion and could betray women if they came to power.
The PM was addressing BJP workers’ congregation at Jamboree Maidan in Bhopal, which was culmination of the party’s Jan Ashirvad Yatra taken out from five places in the state between September 3 to 22 in the run-up to the state assembly election to be held in November.
“The Nari Shakti Vandan bill passed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has created history. Mothers and sisters were waiting for this for decades. It was being said that perhaps this could never be possible,” he said. “Par Modi hai to har guarantee puri hone ki guarantee hai (When Modi is there one should be assured that every guarantee will be fulfilled),” he added.
He told the women that Congress and its new “ghamandia” alliance had leaders who didn’t allow the bill to be passed for 30 years, but supported it out of compulsion as they realised that the women had understood their character.
“Remember my words, the ghamandia alliance has already made up their mind and the moment they get an opportunity, they will betray mothers and sisters. They will try to divide you on some ground or the other. You should remain united,” he said.
He hit out at the Congress, saying that the Congress administrations in Madhya Pradesh were remembered for “misrule” that made the state BIMARU – a reference to an umbrella moniker used for the underdeveloped states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. “The BJP government has completed almost 20 years in MP. The youth who will vote for the first time have seen only the BJP government. They are fortunate that they have not seen the bad governance and evils of Congress in MP,” the PM said.
As the gathering chanted his name, Modi urged the people to vote for the BJP to propel development. He said the BJP is building modern roads, broad highways and expressways and brought modern trains such as Vande Bharat.
Later in the day in Jaipur, Modi said he could see that change was imminent in Rajasthan. “The BJP yatras got widespread support from the people. This shows that in Rajasthan, the wind has changed,” he said at the Parivartan Sankalp, marking the culmination of the BJP’s four Parivartan yatras across the state.
Modi again took on the Congress over the women’s reservation bill. “The Congress did not have the intent to empower women. Today they are talking about reservations… they could have done it 30 years ago. But the truth is that the Congress never wanted to give 33% reservation to women,” Modi said.
He said that women had harboured hopes of getting 33% reservation for decades but it was not fulfilled. “Who fulfilled that dream? It was not me. It was the strength of your vote which made it possible. Your vote elected me and I gave you a guarantee of reservation which I fulfilled,” the PM said. “Remember, Modi means guarantee of fulfilling guarantees that I give you,” he added, elaborating on schemes that his government pushed to empower women.
Targeting chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Modi said the Congress government ruined the future of thousands of young people. “The Congress government did not give opportunities but only cheated the youth. The Rajasthan government gave protection to the paper leak mafia. I want to assure the youth that when the BJP comes to power, the paper leak mafia will not be spared,” he said.
Modi also took a swipe at the law and order situation, saying development was stalled due to a spurt in crime. “Where there is corruption and crime at every step, who will invest? When the lal diary has black deeds listed in it, where murders and beheadings take place in broad daylight and the government is helpless, who will want to invest?” he said, referring to dissident former minister Rajendra Gudha who has alleged that details of irregularities by senior Congress leaders was recorded in his red diary.
Modi also blamed the Congress for cheating farmers and made the case that the schemes brought by his government have benefitted all sections of the society – from farmers and small traders to the poor and disadvantaged, tribespeople and defence forces to the middle class and artisans.
The Congress’s Madhya Pradesh in-charge and national general secretary Randeep Surjewala called the speech “jumla” (empty promises).
“The warriors of the Congress took on the British and sacrificed their blood for the country. This is not going to stop. Nor will it be stopped by the “Mahakumbh of Jumlas, not with a conspiracy built on the sand of lies,” said Surjewala.