Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the Congress was not in contention in Madhya Pradesh and heading for a “shameful defeat” in polls and slammed his rival party for treating tribals just as a vote-bank as he wrapped up his campaign rallies in the state.
Capping his whirlwind election tour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state, PM Modi addressed a rally in tribal-dominated Jhabua district, his third of the day, and reached out to adivasis whose support is crucial for the saffron party in its bid to retain power.
In the last few weeks, PM Modi has addressed a series of election rallies, sometimes three meetings in a day, in support of BJP candidates.
“The atmosphere which I have seen in entire Madhya Pradesh clearly shows the lotus (the BJP symbol) is going to boom. I do not see the Congress in the game. It is heading for a shameful defeat. People will choose development and elect the BJP when they vote on November 17. The Congress will face a crushing defeat,” he said, speaking at the rally on the penultimate day of campaigning.
He said in the tribal belt of Gujarat, the Congress was wiped out in the last elections.
“Wherever the Congress goes, its spoils (the state where it is in power)),” said the BJP’s star campaigner, reaching out to indigenous people and cautioning them against the Grand Old Party.
PM Modi maintained tribal community members were very angry with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan (the last two states are also facing polls), but they were happy with the BJP as it works for their development.
He said the BJP government was starting schools in tribal-dominated districts and had promised to open a medical college in each of these areas.
“When in power, the Congress looked at the tribal community merely as a vote-bank, while the BJP’s double-engine government (saffron party in power in MP and also at the Centre) continuously worked for their welfare and to change their lives,” he said.
PM Modi alleged malnourished kids were used by the party (Congress) to decorate photographs of its leaders.
“The party having such a mentality can never do any good for the tribal community and the poor. They kept these persons away from development because of this mindset,” he said. The BJP’s star campaigner said when the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh, only news of starvation and hunger came out of tribal areas.
Congress leaders used to visit the huts of adivasis to get photographed with them and show their poverty only to forget them later, he maintained.
Hitting out at the Congress, he said, the party is suffering from a “mental disease” of not seeing the country’s achievements in different fields.
Referring to the BJP manifesto, PM Modi said it has promised to provide free education to girls from KG to PG levels.
PM Modi said Congress leaders are only concerned about securing political interests of their sons, apparently referring to former CMs Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, and took a jibe at their “tear clothes” remarks made in context of discontent in the opposition party over ticket distribution.
Polling for the 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh will take place in single phase and votes will be counted on December 3.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)