New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong pitch for his re-election in the next Lok Sabha elections as he launched a scathing attack on the Congress saying it had pushed the country into darkness, bled banks and had created road blocks to an early judicial solution to the Ayodhya dispute. Winding up the two-day BJP National Convention, he cautioned people about who they chose as their “pradhan sevak” (principal servant), one who worked 18 hours a day tirelessly and one who would not go on holidays.
In his valedictory address in which he set the tone for the BJP’s bid to come back to power again, Modi said he had led a government whose track record was “spotless”, which had worked with honesty for all sections, ended despondency, raised people’s confidence, accelerated the pace of development and enhanced India’s stature. “For the first time it has happened that there is no allegation of corruption against the government. We can be proud that we have a spotless record,” he said.
Modi made several veiled attacks on Rahul Gandhi, saying he had met those who were talking of breaking India, had met the Chinese envoy during the Doklam stand off and had alleged “khoon ki dalali” over surgical strikes. He said the governments of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and now Chhattisgarh had barred the CBI but he never did so as Gujarat chief minister though the Congress did not leave any opportunity to harass him through probe agencies.
Modi said he faced the SIT questioning for nine hours as chief minister (over the 2002 Gujarat riots) as he had faith in the law, institutions and truth. “But they are scared of their misdeeds. You have faith on institutions. They do not have faith in the CBI, CAG. Can we hand over the country to them. We have faith in the constitution, they have on the sultanate,” he said.
Referring to the National Herald case without naming Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, he said members of the “first family” of the Congress were on bail and the case pertained to 2012 when the UPA was in power. He said they had been repeatedly called by the probe agencies, 44 times overall and six times in six months, but they had not presented themselves. He accused the Congress of disrespecting institutions. “They do not respect the Election Commission, investigating agencies, Supreme Court, even our foreign ministry.”
Modi said the Congress had bled the banks as two processes prevailed during its rule for availing – “common process” and “Congress process.” “Public money had become private wealth,” he said. “People’s money was given away in loans. The betrayal that Congress did, that needs to be told repeatedly.” He said loans of Rs 18 lakh crore were given by banks from Independence till 2008. “But from 2008 to 2014, loans of Rs 34 lakh crore were given and the total amount went to Rs 52 lakh crore.”
Referring to the issue of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, he said Congress sought to create “obstacles” in the judicial process through a partyman who is a lawyer. “They wanted to impeach Chief Justice of India. Don’t let all this be forgotten. We have to repeatedly remind people how they created roadblocks in development.” Referring to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, he said it is the first time that such a person has been extradited to India. He said the “Congress and its allies” had opposed the triple talaq bill, enemy property bill, bill to give constitutional status to OBC commission, Citizenship amendment bill and reservations over NRC. (IANS)