Nagpur, Sept. 7: Narendra Modi today slammed UPA-II as “anti-poor” and “arrogant” from a huge dais resembling the Red Fort, and claimed the people were wondering where the government, like the coal files, was “lost”.
“While Parliament wondered where the coal files were, people of the country wondered where the government is lost,” the Gujarat chief minister said at a rally in north Chhattisgarh that kicked off the BJP campaign for the Assembly polls and ended the multi-crore Vikas Yatra of the Raman Singh regime.
Chhattisgarh goes to polls along with New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan later this year.
If the mammoth stage — in Ambikapur, some 300km from Raipur — replicating Lal Quila was a symbol to whip up cadre sentiment to back Modi for Prime Minister candidate, the theme of Singh’s Vikas Yatra, launched in May 2013, was prominent too.
Full-page advertisements ran in newspapers. Huge hoardings listing his regime’s achievements were put up on every road. Flags with the BJP’s lotus fluttered everywhere. But it was Singh who held pride of place.
Modi today furthered it by singing paeans to his Chhattisgarh counterpart.“Delhi has a Singh. Chhattisgarh also has a Singh. Both have completed 10 years in the office. Both are doctors. Dr Raman Singh is a doctor of people; Dr Manmohan Singh is a doctor of money,” he said.
“See what happened with the doctor of Delhi; the rupee is oscillating between life and death; but this doctor brought Chhattisgarh out of bad health.”
To bring out the contrast between the NDA and the UPA governments, Modi dwelt on the Telangana issue. “If you want to see the work style of the BJP and their spirit, see the creation of three states in 2000 (Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh) and compare that with what is happening in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
“When Telangana was announced, curfew had to be imposed. This shows the working style of the Congress.”
Attacking Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on his purported comment on a redefined poverty line, Modi said: “The person the Congress is banking on thinks poverty is a state of mind.”
Common people, he said, were badly hit by price rise. “Children are weeping but the government in Delhi is busy defining poverty… the government does not even know that a mother has to face so many problems to give two square meals to her children,” he said.
“I’m concerned that people sitting in Delhi do not know how much the poor spend.… For the first time, we have a government whose work is filled with arrogance, whose style is not to answer the people,” he said, adding the UPA government was “throwing acid on the wounds of the poor”.