In a sharp attack on the Congress without naming it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the opposition party has played with the emotions of the poor and divided the country on caste lines for six decades -- a "sin" which it is committing now as well.
Modi's statement came hours after the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar released findings of its caste survey months ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which revealed OBCs and EBCs constitute a whopping 63 per cent of the state’s total population. The Congress is a constituent of the ruling bloc in Bihar and has promised a caste-based census in the country if voted to power at the Centre.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, addressing a rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh's Shajapur district two days ago, said if his party came to power at the Centre, it would conduct a caste-based census to benefit all sections of society, particularly Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the country.
“Enemies of development got 6 decades that means 60 years (to rule at Centre). They failed to deliver the goods. But in nine years (of BJP rule at Centre) enormous development has taken place... and the world is singing the praises of India. When so much work can take place in just nine years, why the same could not take place in all those years?" Modi asked, without naming the Congress.
The PM was addressing a function in Gwalior in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh after laying foundation stones or inaugurating development projects worth more than Rs 19,000 crore.
“These projects of more than Rs 19,000 crore in one day were the result of double-engine government (a reference to BJP in power in state and also at Centre),” he added.
“They played with the emotions of the poor and divided society on caste lines. They are committing this sin even now,” asserted Modi, hitting out at the opposition.
He maintained that anti-BJP parties do not like the fact that the country is nowadays being praised at global forums.
“When the entire world is praising the country and sees their future in India, there are those who indulge in politics and are unable to see anything except their chair...they do not like India being praised the world over. These anti-development people are trying to prove that nothing has happened in the nation and they have pain in their stomach (over India's praise)," he said.
“They have only one thing in their mind -- hatred against the nation and its policies. In hate they forget the country's achievements," the PM added.
Modi accused the opposition parties of being "anti-development".
“They are averse to development taking place in the country. They are haters of development,” he added.
Referring to India's growing profile at the international stage, the PM said the country has now become the world's fifth-largest economy and “We want to take it to No. 3 in our next term.” The BJP's top poll campaigner said one vote of people for double-engine government will take Madhya Pradesh and the country towards development and prosperity.
“The Congress (when in power) has done no good to MP. They can't do development of MP. They don't have a vision and road map of development," he maintained.
He said the BJP, in power in Bhopal since 2003 barring 15 months in 2018-2020, has pulled MP out of the 'BIMARU' (laggard) category and positioned it among the 10 developed states of the country.
"The double-engine government wants to take MP among the three top states. Your one vote will help achieve this goal," Modi said.
The PM said in the opposition-ruled states, crime and corruption are rampant, while infrastructure development and growth in different fields are key features of BJP rule.
He said earlier the poor got just four walls in the name of houses, but things have changed under his government.
"Now, they are getting toilets and other amenities in their homes under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana," Modi stated.
“Nearly 2.25 lakh families will enter into their new homes before Dussehra, Dhanteras, and Diwali this year,” he added.
Besides, the houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana are being registered in the name of the female member of the family, said Modi.
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