Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took on the Congress at an election rally in Chhattisgarh, saying that the party which had governed India for most of its independent history had strived to improve the fortunes of the Nehru-Gandhi family rather than develop the country. Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who has accused the BJP of corruption and crony capitalism, PM Modi asked if his “grandparents” helped Chhattisgarh progress by laying out water pipelines.
“Why didn’t you do it for 100 years? You were around for four generations but why didn’t you do it? Can you answer that? Did you lay down water pipelines? Did your nana-nani, dada-dadi (grandparents) lay it down? And did Raman Singh come and destroy it? First you give us an account of why you did not do it. Then come and ask us why we couldn’t,” PM Modi said at an election rally in Ambikapur.
Daring the Congress to let someone outside the Gandhi family be the party president for at least five years, the 68-year-old leader said, only then would he believe that the its icon Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru created a truly democratic system.
“They (Congress) have kept the country in the dark with their lies which are ingrained in their minds,” he said.
He also underscored how his humble beginnings were starkly different from those in the Congress. “Only a chai-wala (tea-seller) can understand the feeling of what poor people go through, not those running around abroad,” the Prime Minister said.
Chhattisgarh is voting for its assembly elections in two phases where BJP’s Raman Singh is seeking a fourth term as Chief Minister. The first phase, held on Monday, saw an encouraging turnout of over 76 per cent despite Maoist threats. The second phase will be held next Tuesday. Results for the elections will declared on Dec 11, along with those for four other states.