TARGETING THE Congress, which has of late won most bypolls in election-bound Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said people are calling the opposition party ‘bail-gaadi’, as several of its leaders are out on bail.
“These days, some people are calling the Congress bail-gaadi. After all, many leaders of the Congress, who are known as heavyweights, along with several former ministers, are out on bail,” Modi said at a public rally in Jaipur.
In an apparent reference to Congress leaders’ comments in the aftermath of the surgical strikes in PoK in 2016, Modi said, “Unfortunately, our political opponents even committed the sin of raising questions on the capability of the Army. This has never happened before —- the people of Rajasthan and India will never forgive people who indulge in such politics.”
With months left for the assembly elections, the Prime Minister was in Jaipur to interact with beneficiaries of various Central and state government schemes at an event titled ‘Pradhan Mantri labhyarthi jansambad’ (PM beneficiaries’ public interaction).
Asking people to recall the state of affairs in Rajasthan under the previous Congress government, Modi said, “You must not have forgotten the situation here four years ago. It is my request to the people of Rajasthan: never forget the circumstances under which Vasundhara (Raje)ji had to function, and the way the previous government had left the state of affairs. Only then you will understand how things are being run today.”
Modi called Raje, who was present on the dais along with Governor Kalyan Singh and other Central and state ministers, the “popular chief minister” of Rajasthan.
Before the rally, Modi laid foundation stones for 13 projects in various areas of the state. A budget of over Rs 2,100 crore has been allocated for these schemes.
“Even children in Rajasthan know what happened with the refinery in Barmer,” said Modi. “Today, work at that refinery is going on at an accelerated pace. This is the way the present government works — na cheezein atatkti hai, na latakti hai, na bhatakti hai (work doesn’t get stuck, or is left hanging, or is lost),” he said.
The Congress had said that then party chief Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone of the refinery in Barmer in September 2013, and BJP wanted Modi to “re-lay” the foundation stone. But the BJP said the 2013 event was a “political stunt”, held days before the model code of conduct came into force for the assembly polls.
On Saturday, Modi said the BJP governments in the state and at the Centre have only one agenda — development — and are working to double the income of farmers by 2022, when India marks its 75th year of independence.
During the event, video stories were shown of several beneficiaries of various state and Central schemes such as Ujjwala Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana, health insurance scheme, scooty distribution scheme and Palanhar. The beneficiaries later shared the stage with the Prime Minister.
Raje said that unlike the previous Congress government, her administration’s objective is not to just launch a scheme but to ensure that the benefits reach the people. “The Congress made the poor of this country just a medium to gain power. The BJP has done work to ensure implementation of all welfare schemes, and we can see the result as lakhs of such beneficiaries are sitting here today,” she said.
The state government had made preparations for 2.5 lakh beneficiaries from across the state to attend the rally, and had allocated over Rs 7 crore for their transportation.
The Congress criticised the state government and called the event a way to waste public money.