“Congress says if BJP comes to power, they will bring out the Uniform Civil code and take away the rights of the adivasis (tribals). I want to ask them to stop spreading lies. These rights were given to them not by the Congress or BJP but by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar,” Modi said, addressing a poll rally here.
Today is the last day of the campaign for the third and last phase of the elections in Maharashtra.
In a veiled attack on sitting Congress MP Manikrao Gavit, Modi said he did nothing for his constituency and that the neighbouring Gujarat villages have much better facilities than Nandurbar.
“More than your MP did for the region, Gujarat has done for him. He has had Gujarat’s water. But he still doesn’t wish to do anything…But now I have a chance to do something for this region, which has helped us win Gujarat,” Modi said.
“Normally it is difficult to make out which village belongs in which state, but the adivasis here told me it is very easy to make out. The village which has electricity, belongs to Gujarat and the one in darkness belongs to Maharashtra,” Modi added.
Campaigning for BJP candidate Heena Gavit, daughter of sacked NCP minister Vijaykumar Gavit, Modi said Congress did nothing for the adivasis in 50 years and it was the Vajpayee government that remembered the adivasis.
“Adivasis have been present from many years. They were present during the Revolt of 1857 and during India’s independence. But the Congress never remembered the adivasis. It was Atalji’s government which made a separate ministry for them and allotted a separate budget for them. He also made it a point to take a report on their progress every three months,” he said.
It was the BJP government in four states that got the chance to work for the welfare of adivasis, Modi said, adding those in Congress-ruled states have not prospered.
“We have had the good fortune to work for 40 per cent of adivasis in India. BJP ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat worked very hard for adivasis. No other government did anything for them,” Modi said.
“We have now encouraged adivasis to farm cashewnuts and farmers who barely earned Rs 15,000 a year are now earning Rs 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh a year,” Modi added.
“You have given Congress 60 years. I only ask for 60 months. I will change your lives and make your future bright. Our fight is based on the principles of sacrifice,” Modi said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines