BJP president Amit Shah today sounded the bugle for the upcoming assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, launching a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi over "lack of development" during the "four-generation rule" of the Congress.
Addressing a huge rally in Ambikabur, Shah hit out at Gandhi for seeking an account of the work done by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre in the past four years, but not speaking about the 55 years the Congress ruled the country.
"Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was asking what has the Modi government done in four years. Rahul baba, why are you asking for our account of four years? We do not need to give you any account. We will give an account of every minute and every paisa to people when we go to them seeking votes," he said.
"You are asking 'hisab' from us but this country wants 'hisab' of four generations of your family. Your family ruled the country for 55 years... People of this country want to know why development did not take place during the 55-year rule of four generations of your family," Shah said.
The rally was organised as part of the 'Vikas Yatra' campaign launched by Chief Minister Raman Singh to highlight the achievements of his government in the past 15 years in Chhattisgarh, which goes to polls later this year.
Shah said no party has the courage to share the account of its work with people ahead of elections but the chief minister has been doing that through his Vikas Yatra.
The Congress is not opposing the yatra but development, Shah said, referring to the opposition party's criticism of the campaign.
The Congress has slammed the yatra, accusing the BJP of using public money to promote itself ahead of the polls. State Congress General Secretary Bhupesh Baghel last month wrote to the chief election commissioner and Chhattisgarh chief secretary, seeking a ban on the campaign.
At the rally, Shah took a dig at Gandhi's foreign visits.
On May 18, Gandhi held a mega roadshow from Durg town to state capital Raipur, covering a distance of around 50 km.
Listing the achievements of the Modi government, Shah said bank accounts of 30 crore people were opened during the past four years.
"...3.80 crore mothers were provided gas cylinder connections and toilets were built at 7.5 crore households while 19,000 villages were electrified. The NDA government has launched 116 schemes for the benefit of villagers, the poor, labourers, youth, women and all sections of society," he said.
Shah said the Modi government has launched several measures to safeguard the borders and referred to the surgical strikes conducted by India across the LoC in September 2016 as a response to a terrorist attack on an Army base in Uri. Eighteen Indian soldiers died in the Uri attack.
"Ceasefire violations by Pakistan were frequent earlier. When the Uri attack happened, the BJP government took a decision and the Indian forces conducted a surgical strike in Pakistan and returned safely," he said.
The BJP chief asserted that the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) and the reservation in government jobs will remain intact till the BJP-led government is in power and accused the Congress of spreading "lies" about the Modi government.
"In the coming days, the Congress will spread different types of lies to mislead people. Sometimes they will say the SC/ST Act is being abolished, on other occasions they will say the reservation (system) was being scrapped.
"I want to clearly say that the SC/ST Act and reservation will remain in force till the BJP government is in power. Neither SC/ST Act will be amended nor the reservation will be scrapped, till BJP is in power," Shah said.
Exuding confidence that the BJP will retain power in Chhattisgarh for a straight fourth term, Shah set a target of winning 65 of the total 90 seats in the upcoming polls.
"By witnessing this massive crowd of people, it is evident that Raman Singh government will retain power for the fourth consecutive term in the state. However, this time just a victory will not be enough but the party has to register a huge win by bagging 65 out of 90 seats," he said, adding the victory should be such that the Congress gets "uprooted" from the state.
He said that the Chhattisgarh government has given a befitting reply to naxals.
Addressing the rally, Raman Singh announced the merger of services of 'Shikshakarmis' (panchayat department teachers) with school education department, fulfilling their long-pending demand.
The announcement has brought cheers to around 1.80 lakh shikshakarmi teachers in the state.
Before the rally, Shah held a road show in Ambikapur as part of the Vikas Yatra. The road show was marked by beating of drums and performances by folk troupes.
Shah was accorded a rousing reception by a large number of party leaders and workers when he commenced the roadshow in the afternoon from Kharsiya Naka area.
The roadshow, covered a distance of around 5 km in 45 minutes, passing through several main squares in the town, before its culmination at the P G College grounds.
The roadshow was led by a bike-rally.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)