Prime Minister Narendra Modi took on the Congress government in his rallies in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, saying it was under the current BJP regime that the farmers have been given their fairest deal.
In Indore, Modi said that Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the “number one state in the farming sector under BJP's 15-year rule, while in the Congress era, it was nowhere”.
He took on Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his farm loan waiver promise. “As elections approach, the Congress plays a game of promises. But they cannot mislead the country anymore. They must answer what did they did for the welfare of our farmers when they ruled for four generations," he said during his campaign in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.
"They are making false promises of loan waiver to the people of Chhattisgarh. The same promise was made to farmers during the Karnataka polls, but even after around a year has passed, the promise is yet to be fulfilled... Instead, the government is issuing warrants and arresting the farmers whose debts are outstanding," he added.
Praising the BJP government under Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Modi said it ensured soil health cards for 7.5 million farmers, adding in a sarcastic vein that the Congress had failed to provide health cards to anybody.
"Though the Raman Singh government is in power in the state for 15 years, it got the actual opportunity to work for the welfare of the state after the NDA government came to power... Raman Singh had to fight for the rights of the state with the Congress government at the Centre," he said.
Singh had sought support from then Congress-led UPA government to fight Maoists, but the "remote-controlled" government behaved as if Chhattisgarh did not exist, the prime minister said.
Taking on the Gandhi family, Modi said Sitaram Kesri, who was from a “Dalit and exploited community” was not allowed to complete his term as the Congress president so that Sonia Gandhi could take over. Speaking in Mahasamund, Modi said that Kesri was ousted unceremoniously, “locked in a bathroom” and “thrown out on the footpath".
"The Congress had said a chaiwala became the prime minister by the grace of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. I challenged them (to show that) when he (Nehru) had established such a democratic and liberal system, then make someone from outside the Gandhi family the Congress president for at least five years," he said.
The Congress, however, rebutted the claim, saying Kesri was given “due respect” and that he belonged to the Other Backward Classes and was not a Dalit.
“Kesri was a Bania OBC from Bihar and not a Dalit. However, when has the PM allowed facts or truth to stand in the way?," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted.