Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday dared the Congress to make someone outside the Nehru-Gandhi family its president for at least five years.
Returning the Congress’ “a chaiwala could become Prime Minister due to Nehru” barb, Mr Modi said if the Congress makes someone who is not from the (Nehru- Gandhi) family its party president for at least five years, then he would believe that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru really created a truly democratic system there.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had recently said that it was due to the institutional structure created by Nehru that even a “chaiwala” (tea seller) could become India’s Prime Minister. His party colleague Mallikarjun Kharge had also said a “chaiwala” could become the Prime Minister as the Congress preserved democracy.
Addressing a campaign rally in Ambikapur for the second phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections on November 20, Mr Modi said that the Gandhis are still not being able to come to terms to the fact that a “son of a poor mother” has become the country’s Prime Minister.
Mr Modi slammed the Opposition party for crediting his occupying the Prime Minister’s post to Nehru instead of people in the country. He challenged the Congress to compare the performance of governments under four generations of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty with that under a “chaiwala” (tea seller), meaning himself.
During campaigning in Shahdol for the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, Mr Modi said, “There should be accountability for everything. What has four generations of one family given to the country and what a ‘chaiwala’ has given (to the country).”
He was taking a jibe at the Congress for seeking account of his four-year-old government at the Centre.
“If Congress men ask you what the BJP government in MP has done in last 15 years, then seek an account of their 55-year-rule in the state,” he exhorted people in the public meeting.
“Governments under the Congress in MP could not do in 54 years what Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has done in 15 years,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has lined up rallies of its star campaigners in coming days. Mr Modi was scheduled to address ten rallies across the state in November 16-25. Apart from the Prime Minister, party president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Smriti Irani are scheduled to address rallies.
Mr Shah, who began his whirlwind tour of the state on Thursday, is scheduled to address 25 public meetings till November 26, when campaigning closes in the state.
MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, himself a star campaigner of the party, has now intensified his campaign across the state to drum up support for BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls.