Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Congress of inaction on development projects, saying the party lays foundation stones and makes “false promises” to claim credit for work done by others. The Congress was more interested in gaining popularity at the cost of development, he charged.
Addressing a public meeting after launching work at the ₹43,129 crore oil refinery project at Pachpadra in Barmer district, Mr. Modi said the Congress, which had done nothing for the poor, had misled the people by its claims, which had failed to stand up to public scrutiny.
“In contrast, our government has worked hard for empowerment of the poor. The money meant for the poor has not gone anywhere else. The Jan Dhan bank accounts for 32 crore poor households today have deposits worth ₹72,000 crore,” said Mr. Modi.
The Prime Minister criticised drought management of the previous Congress regimes in Rajasthan, stating that drought and the Congress walked hand-in-hand and the situation had improved only after BJP came to power.
Referring to the NDA government’s initiative to give one-rank-one-pension benefits to the defence personnel, Mr. Modi said the previous UPA regime had just made an interim provision of ₹500 crore for the scheme to claim credit, while the actual cost was estimated at a whopping ₹12,000 crore after a year-long exercise.
The ruling BJP had fulfilled its commitment, as the Union government had already paid ₹10,700 crore in four instalments to the defence personnel and the rest would be paid soon, said Mr. Modi.
Ridiculing the Congress party’s slogan of “Gharibi Hatao” (remove poverty), Mr. Modi said the NDA government had worked in that direction by providing free cooking gas connections to poor women and releasing power connections to about 4 crore households which did not have electricity even 70 years after Independence.
In an apparent attempt to mollify Rajputs who have announced their support to Congress in the upcoming by-elections in the State, Mr. Modi made several references to sacrifices made by the community and the contributions of former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Union Minister Jaswant Singh and Major Dalpat Singh who fought in the First World War.
The Opposition Congress criticised the BJP government’s decision to organise the ceremony for the refinery despite its foundation stone having been laid by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in 2013. The Congress also alleged that it amounted to violation of model code of conduct, as the date of by-elections for one Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats had already been announced.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Mr. Modi had disappointed the people of Rajasthan, as he did not say anything about Parwan dam project, Jaipur Metro’s second phase, MEMU coach factory and Dungarpur-Banswara-Ratlam railway line. “Mr. Modi just criticised Congress without any fact and with wrong figures,” said Mr. Gehlot.