Coming down heavily on Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday alleged that the opposition party’s policy of votebank politics, by way of welfare schemes, was fading.
“The Congress’s votebank politics by way of different welfare schemes is fading. Everyone knows that during the Congress’ time, the names of housing projects, their construction and the quality of construction were shrouded in controversies,” PM Modi said while addressing a rally in Indore of Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister also accused the Congress of spreading lies about his government, not being concerned about states BIMARU tag and of ignoring urban infrastructure in cities.
Modi, who inaugurated Rs 4,000 crore Mohanpura irrigation Project at Rajgarh and unveiled urban development projects worth over Rs 4,000 crore at Indore, said the country was on its way to achieving the target of total cleanliness by Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary next year.
Addressing a rally at Rajgarh, Modi took several digs at the Congress.
"Those who are engaged in spreading misinformation, lies and pessimism, how far removed they are from the reality... you are a picture of it," he told the gathering.
Accusing the Congress of not caring for Madhya Pradesh's future and not feeling insulted over the state's earlier "BIMARU" tag, he said BJP has made the state a major participant in the country's development process.
"The Congress, which ruled Madhya Pradesh for long time, did not see or feel the insult (over Madhya Pradesh being counted among the sick states). They treated the common people as their subjects and got them to sing their praises. They did not care for Madhya Pradesh's future."
The acronym BIMARU was coined in the 1980s for the economic condition of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Remembering Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his death anniversary, he said Mookerjee's vision was reflected in policies of BJP governments, while accusing the Congress of glorifying one family while ignoring contribution of other nation-builders.
Watch: PM Modi accuses Congress of spreading lies, ignoring cities
The Prime Minister said that his government is making sure that every village has a gas connection, every household has electricity connection, everybody has bank accounts, everybody gets a shield of security insurance and every pregnant woman and child is immunised.
Noting this work could have been done by the Congress or previous governments also, he said: "It was unfortunate on the part of this country that Congress which has ruled this country for so many years never had trust in you and your hard work."
Referring to completion of Mohanpura project in about four years, he said it was not only an example of rapid growth but also the way in which BJP governments work.
Taking a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of government over job creation, Modi said: "Some people's attitude towards labour may not be positive, they make fun of employment, but the efforts of this government are in front of everyone today. More than 85 lakh people of Madhya Pradesh have taken benefit of Mudra Yojna."
He said "state has written a new saga of development" under Chouhan. "Agriculture growth rate had been 18 per cent for the last five years. In 2007 area under irrigation schemes in the state was 7.5 lakh hectares. It has gone up to 40 lakh hectares," he said.
At Indore, he accused the Congress of ignoring urban infrastructure during its rule at the Centre.
"Shortage of water, disorder in power supply, leaking sewage system, traffic jams on roads, widespread dirt and filth, this is the identity that Congress has given to our cities after its long rule but our government has taken upon itself to bring urban infrastructure to the levels of 21st century," Modi said.
Describing Indore as the country's "cleanest city", he said cities were "energy centres" and the BJP-led government has spent Rs 2.30 lakh crores on urban renewal in the last four years compared to Rs 95,000 crore spent by Congress-led UPA in 10 years.
Expressing optimism about his government achieving its cleanliness target, he said: "This dream will be fulfilled and we will collectively do it. We have constructed more than eight crore toilets in the last four years".
Modi inaugurated urban projects including houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects at Indore, which has retained its position as India cleanest city for second consecutive year.
He also distributed the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2018.
Seeking to set the tone for the BJP's campaign for the assembly polls later this year, he compared the performance of his government as also of the state's Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to that of Congress.
(With agency inputs)