Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (December 2) 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,” said Modi.
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“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 ₹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 by 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 his prayers.
(With inputs from agencies)