“Aur nahi sahebo, badal ke rahebo (won’t tolerate [Congress government] any longer, will replace)”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public rally in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker town of Maoist-hit Bastar division on Thursday, less than five days before the state witnesses the first phase of the polling. “Development cannot take place where there is Congress,” he said.
He targeted Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for “nepotism and corruption” and said that if the BJP comes to power, the poor will be provided pucca houses and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for millets will be hiked.
Modi began his speech saying the next five years are crucial for Chhattisgarh as it will complete 25 years of statehood; therefore the vote in this election will decide the future of their children . “In these five years of the current government, only children and relatives of Congress leaders benefited. What did tribals, poor and backward people get? Congress gave you bad roads, bad schools and bad hospitals. They created a new record in corruption and violence is at an all-time high,” Modi said.
“Till now 4 crore poor people have already got pucca houses in India. If we come to power, we will make pucca houses for all the poor under the Awas Yojna,” he said, adding the Congress government did not implement the Centre’s housing scheme in the state just because the credit would go to him (Modi).
He targeted Baghel, saying the CM does people’s work only after taking 30% commission. “30% kaaka (uncle which Baghel is referred to as), apna kaam pakka,” said Modi. The PM also taunted Baghel government saying they did not keep their promise of making a corn-processing unit in Bastar. “Batao kaaka, kahan gaya makka (tell us uncle, where has corn gone),” he said.
The PM said Nagarnar steel plant will provide jobs to 1 lakh people in future without commenting on its privatisation, an issue Baghel has been raising vehemently.
In contrast to Congress’s thrust on English-medium schools in Chhattisgarh, Modi said if BJP comes to power, it will concentrate on regional language as students, he said, find it easier to study in their native languages and can perform better to become doctors or engineers.
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BJP’s resolution is to bring Chhattisgarh among top states in the country and protect the interests of poor, tribals and backward, he added.
Elections to the 90-member state Assembly will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17.
Twenty seats falling in seven districts of Maoist-hit Bastar division and Rajnandgaon, Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki, Kabirdham and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai districts will witness voting in the first phase, while polling in remaining 70 seats will be held in the second phase. Votes will be counted on December 3.