BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday accused the Congress of ignoring the welfare of the tribals in the country for 60 years and said that it was only after Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM, that their condition got improved.
“The Congress has never cared about the tribals in spite of ruling the country for 60 years. It was Atalji who created a separate ministry for them. In all the BJP-ruled states, the welfare of the tribal community has been given utmost importance. BJP Governments are doing wonderful work for the tribal communities in every sphere, be it education or agriculture,” Modi said at the ‘Bharat Vijay’ rally in the tribal-dominated Mandla constituency, 400 km from the state capital.
He also attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had come to Mandla last week and interacted with tribal women.
“The Shahzada came here last week and met you. Did he respond to your questions on price rise? Elections have come, but no Congress leader is willing to respond to questions on the rising price,” he said.
While the BJP has fielded former Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste from Mandla, the Congress has given its ticket to senior party leader Omkar Markam.
In his 20 minutes speech, Modi devoted much of his time in criticising the Congress and said its leader had become arrogant.
“They have become so arrogant that it seems they have come from Mars. They just believe in preaching. They first come to power by shaking hands and they start looting the country with that very hand. Its leaders have lost the right to rule the country,” Modi stated.
He exhorted the tribals to vote for the BJP candidate and said “this electoral fight was not about two political parties, but it was a fight for ushering in a strong India”.
Addressing another rally in Balaghat, Modi said that no other political party including the Congress, the Left or any regional party had worked for the people, as the BJP had.Modi also criticised the Central government for failing to take care of the soldiers and farmers of the country. “Pakistan beheaded and killed two of our army jawans and the government responded by offering the Pakistani PM chicken Biryani. Former prime minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri used to say ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ but now the slogan of the Congress is ‘Mar Jawan Mar kisan’,” Modi said. He also termed the recently-released Congress manifesto as a false document.
Modi will address a rally in the Maoist hotbed of Bastar in Chhattisgarh.