Pitching for the BJP’s re-election in Rajasthan Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched an attack on the Congress party, labelling it as a “bail-gaadi” as several of its high-profile leaders and former ministers were out on bail.
Addressing a rally of beneficiaries of welfare schemes run by the Centre and the state government, Mr Modi played on the Hindi word “bayl gaadi” for a bullock cart, to mock the alleged criminal cases filed against Congress leaders.
“Some people have started calling Congress ‘bail-gaadi’ as several leaders who are called stalwarts of the Congress and former ministers are out on bail these days,” Mr Modi said in an apparent reference to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who got bail on Saturday in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. Mr Tharoor has been former minister of state in the external affairs and human resources development ministries, besides a top UN functionary.
During the rally, seen as an informal launch of the BJP’s campaign for the Assembly elections later this year, the Prime Minister enlisted the development works carried out by the Central and state governments, highlighted the recent hike in MSP to address farmers’ concerns and slammed the Congress for pursuing dynasty politics and questioning the Army’s patriotism.
“People who want dynasty politics can continue but our resolve to protect India and take its pride to new heights is unbreakable and our intentions are pure,” he said. Making an apparent reference to the surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2016, he criticised the Congress for questioning the capabilities of the Army. “It is unfortunate that political opponents also committed a sin by raising questions on the capabilities of the Army. This has never happened before and the people will not forgive those who are doing this kind of politics,” he said.
On the development front, he said facilities in 1,500 villages in Rajasthan will benefit from new projects. Around 50 crore people would get Rs 5 lakh worth heathcare protection. He also laid foundation stones for 13 projects worth Rs 2,100 crore in the state.
Mr Modi claimed that the BJP governments at the Center as well as in the state have worked for the upliftment of people’s living standard in last four years.
He said the BJP governments’ only agenda was development, unlike that of the previous Congress government whose leaders were bothered only about installing plaques with their names for projects.
He cited the example of the oil refinery in Barmer, suggesting that the Congress government did little on it while the project picked up pace only when the BJP came to power.
“BJP ke raaj ma cheese na atakati hai, latkati hai aur na bhatkati hai,” he quipped, asking people not to forget what was the situation four years ago.
“There are some people who will never appreciate good work done, be it by the Centre or by Vasundharaji but everyone must see the happiness of the beneficiaries here,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the underprivileged, farmers and women have been at the centre of the schemes which the government has introduced in the last four years.
He mentioned Jan Dhan Yojna, crop insurance scheme, housing schemes, Ujjawala Yojna, Mudra scheme and the soil health card.
“A recent international report shows that more than five crore people have been pulled out of poverty in the last two years,” he claimed.
Around 2.5 lakh beneficiaries of 12 schemes run by the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state turned up at the rally venue, which is called ‘Amroodon ka bagh (garden of guavas)’.
The Congress had alleged that the beneficiaries invited by the Rajasthan government for the rally were BJP workers, a charge denied by the party.