New Delhi, November 2
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress government in Chhattisgarh of indulging in “loot and lies” and declared that his ongoing fight against corruption would continue notwithstanding personal consequences of the same.
Halts speech to thank schoolgirl
PM Modi on Thursday halted his speech to thank a schoolgirl for drawing his sketch and told her to sit down. “You will get tired. I will arrange for the sketch to reach me and will write you a letter, I promise. Please write your address behind the sketch,” the PM told the child.
The remarks came on a day when AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal skipped ED summons in the Delhi excise scam and amid sporadic ED raids against aides of Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel.
“Not one scamster will be spared. You have elected me to root out corruption, not enjoy my time in office. Should I or should I not fix corrupt politicians, recover poor people's money? I will never stop the fight against corruption no matter how much I get abused. Modi is not scared,” the PM said addressing his first rally in the state since the poll announcement.
The choice of rally venue — Kanker in Bastar — was significant given BJP’s decimation in all 12 Assembly segments of the Left-wing extremism hit belt in 2018. These seats go to the polls in the first phase on November 7. The Congress holds all 12 Bastar constituencies.
In the presence of BJP candidates from the region, the PM urged paddy farmers to “listen to him”. He was seeking to counter Congress government's serial pro-farmer freebies, including promise of a farm loan waiver and higher paddy MSP if re-elected.
“The Centre bought Rs 1 lakh crore worth of paddy from Chhattisgarh in nine years and the Congress is lying saying they paid this money. We arranged to send the money directly to your accounts. Paddy farmers must trust my guarantee,” PM Modi said, flagging payments of Rs 2,60,000 crore to farmers of India under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
The PM accused the state Congress government of perpetrating scams across sectors — “liquor, recruitment, cow dung, coal” – and said, “The Congress and development cannot go hand in hand.” He urged voters to oust the '30 take kakka, aapka kaam pakka (CM Baghel's 30 per cent cut) government'.
Throughout his address, the PM repeated BJP’s poll slogan “Aur nahi sahibo badal kar rahibo (people won't tolerate anymore and will change the Congress government)” and asked the predominantly tribal voters of Bastar to “punish the Congress for insulting the first ST President Droupadi Murmu”. “The Congress put up a candidate against the first tribal presidential nominee and insulted her. Chhattisgarh should punish the Congress for this insult,” the PM said, flagging “corruption, nepotism and dynastic politics” as “Congress tradition and culture”.
“Only Congress leaders can lie with Gangajal in hand. The BJP fulfils promises and follows the policy of development of all, appeasement of none,” the Prime Minister said.
His reference was to the promise of prohibition CM Baghel made with ‘Gangajal’ in hands. The BJP is making non-fulfilment of this pledge a poll issue.
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