KARNAL: As they kickstarted campaigning for the October 15 Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sonia Gandhi today traded fire with the former attacking the Congress regime for having done "little" in the last 60 years and she likening him to "empty vessels" making noise.
Attacking Gandhi, Modi said, "Those who ruled for 60 years are demanding the account of what my government did in 60 days. Petrol and diesel prices are down. I promise you I will pull the country out of the current mess in 60 months.
Modi, who addressed a series of rallies in the two poll-bound states, urged the people to dump the Congress and give a clear majority to BJP, promising them a strong and stable government.
The Prime Minister was hitting back at Gandhi who, while addressing an election rally in Meham in Haryana, accused him of trying to "show off" as if everything has been done only after his government came to power and asked what happened to his promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad.
"They are creating such an atmosphere as if nothing has happened in the country since Independence and they will change everyone's fortunes overnight. Have any steps been taken by the BJP to fulfil the promises made during the Lok Sabha elections," she asked.
"Has inflation come down? Is the poor man getting food at cheaper rate? Have the unemployed got jobs?" she asked.
In a swipe at Modi, she said, "empty vessels make the most noise. Being loud doesn't mean you are speaking truth."
"What happened to their promise of getting back the black money from abroad within 100 days of coming to power. Have any steps been taken in this regard? Absolutely not," Gandhi said in a blistering attack on Modi, hours after he urged voters in Haryana to oust the Congress, targeting it over alleged land scams and "anti-farmer" policies.
Targeting Congress which had described his recent US visit as "over hyped and disappointing", Modi asked, "Was India's presence ever felt in the US like this?".
"It is not because of Modi but because of 1.25 crore countrymen. No country can afford to ignore a man behind whom 1.25 crore people stand. Today, the ruler and the society stand together," he said.
Later, addressing a rally in Mumbai, Modi said the time has come to end "corruption, goondagardi, dadagiri".
He said the practice of illegally getting hold of plots, jhuggi-jhonpris and using force to evict people from residential places must be stopped. Wooing the voters, he said by 2022, people living in jhuggi-jhonpris will have homes of their own with electricity and water. "That is the vision I have set out to achieve."
Describing Mumbai as "mini-Hindustan", he said the metropolis and the state have to be developed in a big way to make it the country's business hub.
He said the country's aspiration youth wanted to take the country to new heights and were fed up squabbles including on caste and look for change and speedy development.
Targeting Congress, he said they need to give an account of their 60-year rule before pointing accusing fingers at him.
He said the world was now looking at India with a new vision. "Why was Congress unable to achieve this in 60 years ? he asked.
Citing Amitabh Bachchan's popular TV programme 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', where people win money for responding correctly to questions, he said but in Maharashtra, the erstwhile Congress-NCP combine were all the time scheming to pocket billions.