Raipur | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Congress, alleging that corruption was its biggest ideology, and accused the grand old party of stalling the development of Chhattisgarh, where elections are due by the year-end.
Chhattisgarh has become an ATM for the Congress, the PM alleged while addressing a rally at the Science College ground in Raipur, where he inaugurated and laid foundation stones of eight projects worth around Rs 7,600 crore.
In his first visit to the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh after being elected as the prime minister for the second term in 2019, Modi said if the Congress was a guarantee for corruption, he himself was a guarantee for action against graft.
The scam-ridden Congress government in Chhattisgarh has become a model of misrule and people have decided to root it out in the upcoming Assembly elections, he said.
"...The next 25 years will be crucial for the development of Chhattisgarh, but a big 'panja' (Congress's poll symbol) is standing like a tall wall against it. Congress's panja had decided to snatch your rights and it will loot and destroy the state," he said.
The PM further said in order to expose the ruling party's lies, he would like to remind people of the state about the promises made by the Congress during the 2018 assembly polls.
Liquor ban was among 36 promises made by Congress. They had said they will give prohibition rights to gram sabha in scheduled areas. Instead of fulfilling these promises in the last five years, Congress indulged in crores of rupees of liquor scam. The scam money went into the Congress party's account, he alleged.
The Congress government betrayed the women of Chhattisgarh. Now people say due to fights over this money, the party could not implement the two-and-a-half years formula (hinting at the CM seat sharing between Bhupesh Baghel and TS Singh Deo), he said.
"Chhattisgarh has become an ATM for Congress. Corruption is not limited to liquor. No department is left where corruption is not being committed in the Congress government in Chhattisgarh. They did not even spare schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission, PM Housing Scheme...This government has become a model of misrule," he said.
"The last four years of this government proved that corruption is at the core of Congress and it cannot breathe without it. Corruption is the biggest ideology of Congress," he said.
"Some people get angry when I say Congress is a guarantee for corruption and start abusing me. This anger shows that the Centre is working in the right direction...," Modi added.
Taking a dig at the opposition parties over their attempt to forge an anti-BJP front, Modi said, "Those who are stained with corruption, they are trying to come together today. Those who once cursed each other, are trying to find excuses to come together...they think Modi will get afraid of it..." Each corrupt person in this country should pay heed to this - if Congress is a guarantee for corruption, Modi is a guarantee for action against corruption, he said.
"Those who indulge in wrongdoing will not be spared. I dare to say this because whatever I have is given by you (people) and the country. Those who are trying to conspire against me and trying to dig my grave don't know that the one who gets scared cannot be Modi," he said.
Whatever tricks Congress plays, I will not back down from my resolve to take the people of Chhattisgarh forward. I hail from a poor family and understand the pain of the poor, he added.
Hailing his government's strategy against Left Wing Extremism, the PM said the Centre's efforts to free the country from the menace of Naxalism have started showing results.
"In the last few years, the number of Naxalite-affected districts declined from 126 to around 70," he added.
Modi cautioned the people to stay alert against the Congress as it tries to hide its misrule through false promises and guarantees and claimed that BJP makes real guarantees and true promises and fulfils them.
He cited the examples of schemes, including free ration, Ayushman Bharat, housing to highlight BJP's commitment to fulfil its promises.
Further targeting Congress, Modi said, “BJP is a party which has concern about the poor and thinks about their welfare. But the Congress is the biggest enemy of the poor'. The Congress government in Chhattisgarh obstructed the schemes launched by the BJP government at the Centre for states and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana is an example of it.
"...BJP during its rule made an average of 2 lakh houses each year in Chhattisgarh under the housing scheme. Now Congress is unable to make even one lakh houses each year under the Awas Yojana. If we come to power, we will speed up this work...," he said.
Highlighting the Centre's schemes in the interest of tribals, Modi said, "Congress has always considered the tribal community as a vote bank. Congress kept tribals deprived of their rights and facilities. The BJP government has given rights to several tribal groups in Chhattisgarh by enlisting them in the list of tribes.
Thanking people for coming to the rally in large numbers despite rains, Modi said he learnt about an accident (in Bilarpur) which claimed the lives of three persons and injured few others injured. "I express my condolences over their death," he said.
Before the rally, the PM also virtually flagged off a new train service between Antagarh in Kanker district and Raipur.