File photo of PM Narendra Modi. Photograph:( ANI )
Addressing a rally ahead of the November 28 polls in Madhya Pradesh, Modi said the Congress, which was seeking an account of the BJP government's performance, should explain what it did for the state during its over five-decade rule.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was ready for a contest between the performance of "four generations" of the Nehru-Gandhi family and that of "four years of a chaiwala", and asserted his government provided the poor people with amenities like access to banks, power and LPG which the Congress was unable to do during its 55-year rule.
Addressing a rally here ahead of the November 28 polls in Madhya Pradesh, Modi said the Congress, which was seeking an account of the BJP government's performance, should explain what it did for the state during its over five-decade rule.
"It is clear before you, 15 years (of the BJP rule in Madhya Pradesh) versus 55 years (of the Congress rule). And I am surprised! You should also seek an account of (the performance of) Modi. I insist on it.
"What have the governments of four generations of a family given to the nation and what has a chaiwala given in four years. Come on, let there be a contest," he added.
Modi said his government has ensured that every poor in the country has a bank account and it was done in just four years, while the Congress gave the slogan of 'garibi hatao' (eradicate poverty) in early 1970s, but did nothing.
"Indira Gandhi had carried out nationalisation of banks with an aim to ensure that all have access to the banking facilities. But the poor did not benefit.
"Now this government has ensured that all poor have bank accounts and we did it in just four years," he said.
"What they were unable to do in 55 years, we have done in four years including in (providing) electricity, LPG and roads, among other things," he said, listing the achievements of his government.
Calling Congress leaders "jhooth ke shehanshah" (king of lies), he alleged that their actions belie their words and it was "part of the Congress' character".
Without naming anyone, Modi said, "In Parliament, too, Congress leaders talk of love, but express anger in Madhya Pradesh."
Speaking on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha on July 20 this year, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had targeted Modi and projected the RSS, BJP and its top leaders as agents of "anger and hatred" and "thanked" them for making him understand the meaning of being a Congressman, an Indian and a Hindu and enabling him to have only "love" for them. Gandhi had reated a flutter when he went across to the treasury benches and embraced the Prime Minister.
Accusing the Congress of spreading lies, Modi on Friday said he was surprised as to how the country's oldest political party could get elected "for so many years". Modi said it was because the opposition was less powerful then and the media was not as vibrant as it is now.
"Hence, whatever lies they would serve, those would percolate down. And people would buy the lies as being truths. Now, we learn how much lies the 'shehanshah of lies' speaks, how many times and where. They must be blabbering lies when asleep," he quipped.
Hitting back at Gandhi, who termed demonetisation as the biggest scam in the history of independent India during a rally in the state, Modi said "only those Congress leaders, who earned money unfairly, are crying" over the note ban and not the common man.
Modi said that the common man was no longer hassled due to the note-ban exercise announced by him on November 8, 2016.
"They did face problems earlier and even we have said so, but not now," he said.
He asked the audience whether they were still facing problems due to the scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and they replied in the negative. Modi also asked whether or not it was not right to bring the money "lying under the pillows and elsewhere" into the banking system.
"Post-demonetisation only those Congress leaders, who earned money unfairly, are crying and not the common man," he said.
Modi hailed the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state for building roads, hospitals and other public infrastructure facilities.
The PM said the Centre was working towards achieving the goal of housing for all by 2022, when India completes 75 years of its independence.