PUNE: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday accused the BJP of dividing the people of the country on religious lines like the British rulers.
He also slammed the BJP-led central government for "ignoring" Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's warnings on the coronavirus pandemic and said that had it acted on his suggestions, the lives of many people could have been saved.
"Congress has always fought for people's issues. Unlike this (BJP-led) government, Congress gave many rights to people. It gave freedom, Constitution, Panchayat Raj, Right To Information and also gave rights to farmers, labourers...The party also provided 30 per cent reservation to women. Yet, they keep asking what did the Congress do in the last 70 years," he said while addressing the party workers at Congress Bhavan here.
"I request you not to tell them what the Congress has built over the years, otherwise the Modi government will sell those things off," he told them.
Without naming the BJP, Baghel said, "They are playing divide and rule tactics like the British rulers. They are encouraging Hindus and Muslims to fight among themselves. First we fought the Britishers and now we have to fight against the thieves."
Over the coronavirus situation, he said that when the pandemic broke out, Rahul Gandhi had given warnings to the Centre and asked it to take necessary steps.
"But the BJP government turned a blind eye towards his suggestions and the country is paying for it. Loss of lives and other losses could have been avoided had the government listened to him," the Congress leader said.
The Chhattisgarh CM asked the Congress workers to know the history of the party.
"The Congress party has a history. Know its history so that no other party can present it in a distorted manner and as a party worker you can give answers to them," he told them.
Baghel also asked the party workers to highlight the issues faced by the people, including the price rise, and also increase the party base by roping in new members.
During one of the events in the city, Baghel was given 'Mahatma Phule Samata Puraskar'.