Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged that the Congress only believed in 'atkana, latkana aur bhatkana' (stalling, delaying and misleading), and said those who looted poor people in the country were now abusing him for putting an end to corruption.
He also alleged that the previous Congress governments never showed any interest in bringing the Narmada river water to the parched regions of Gujarat as the party was only interested in doing those works where there was scope to indulge in corruption.
Modi was addressing a rally in Kankrej village of Banaskantha district, where voting for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly polls will be held on December 5.
“Congress only believed in 'atkana', 'latkana' and 'bhatkana'. Elderly people from this region would tell you how Congress governments used to talk about bringing Narmada water in this parched region, but nothing was done on that front during their rule,” he said.
The prime minister accused the Congress of trying to stall the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam and supporting those who delayed the project through litigations, a veiled reference to Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar.
“Can people of Banaskantha forgive those who indulged in this sin of stopping water from coming here? Congress was responsible for keeping Banaskantha thirsty. They must be punished. I hope you will not forget this during polling,” Modi said.
“Congress never shows interest in those works where their leaders do not find any opportunity to make money. Since they used to get kickbacks in the relief work wherein people were given the task to dig pits during drought, Congress was not providing water. Because they knew that if water is supplied here, their illegal income will stop,” he alleged.
According to him, it was the BJP government which brought Narmada water into this parched region and promised that it will reach those areas too which were left behind.
The PM said his government at the Centre had pumped in nearly Rs 1 lakh crore to finish as many as 99 water supply schemes which were abandoned across the country during Congress rule.
Without taking names, Modi said those who “looted” poor citizens are now giving him 'gaalis' (abuses) for putting an end to corrupt practices, like cancelling nearly four crore fake ration cards.
“Food grains meant for the poor were diverted somewhere else. If you rob poor people, Modi will take action. And when such people are caught, they start abusing me,” he said.
He claimed that he was confident of the Bharatiya Janata Party;s (BJP) victory in Gujarat the way people took part in voting on December 1 under the first phase.
Before addressing the rally, Modi visited Augarnath temple in Kankrej and offered prayers.
Referring to the Congress' accusation of EVM tampering in Patan town, Modi said it is an indication that the opposition party has already accepted defeat in the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Voting for 89 seats in the first phase of the Gujarat elections took place on Thursday.
“The way Congress has started blaming EVMs after yesterday's voting in Kutch, Saurashtra and south Gujarat, it is evident the opposition party has conceded defeat and has accepted that the BJP will win the election. Alleging EVM tampering is an indication the Congress is on its way out,” said Modi.
He was speaking at an election rally in Patan town of north Gujarat where voting will be held along with remaining 92 seats on December 5.
“The Congress knows only two things, abuse Modi ahead of polls to please the voters and then blame EVMs after voting. This proves the Congress has accepted defeat,” the prime minister said.
He also slammed past Congress governments for 'widening' the rift between the rich and the poor in the country and “looting” the funds meant for the welfare of the poor.
“A former Congress PM used to say that out of Rs 1 sent by the Centre, only 15 paise reaches the poor,” Modi said, referring to the late Rajiv Gandhi's famous quote.
“In those days local bodies, state governments and the Centre were ruled by the Congress. The BJP was not in the picture. So which 'palm' was responsible for siphoning off 85 paise?” he said, in a dig at the Congress's poll symbol (hand).