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The Hindu
The Hindu
Shoumojit Banerjee

Lok Sabha 2024: INDIA bloc has always been anti-development, says Modi in Wardha

Alleging that the Congress and the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) had always been “anti-development” and “anti-farmer”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 19 blamed the Congress ‘misrule’ for having caused woe to farmers for decades.

Addressing an election rally in Wardha in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, the PM said that past governments had been responsible for successive irrigation crises that had plagued farmers in Wardha and Amravati districts.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024, phase 1 voting Updates | As it happened on April 19

“The Congress has always been anti-farmer and anti-development. That is why their has remained so bad for decades. A stone [for a project] laid in a family’s name [alluding to the Gandhi family] remained unfinished for generations, causing suffering in Vidarbha under Congress rule. Today, our government prioritizes Vidarbha’s needs, with CM Eknath Shinde and [Deputy CMs] Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar committed to serving the public,” Mr. Modi said.

Stating that voting for the Congress and the INDIA bloc was “futile”, Mr. Modi claimed that the Congress party had already admitted defeat and hence was resorting to threats of causing chaos after the Lok Sabha election.

“Their inclination towards Constitutional suppression and emergency echoes past tactics. [alluding to the Emergency imposed under late Congress PM Indira Gandhi] However, the nation desires a resolute and stable government… this election is an election to fulfil the dream of a ‘Viksit’ Bharat and self-reliant India,” Mr. Modi said, claiming that Maharashtra echoed with cries of “Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar!”

The PM was campaigning for the BJP’s Ramdas Tadas, who is the incumbent MP of Wardha and the Mahayuti’s candidate. Wardha goes to polls in the second phase on April 26.

Mr. Modi further claimed that before 2014, 99 major irrigation projects nationwide, including several in Maharashtra and particularly Vidarbha, had been stalled for decades.

“But, under the NDA government’s tenure, rapid progress has been made, with the imminent completion of the Lower Wardha and Lower Pedhi Irrigation Projects which promise to be a boon for farmers,” he said.

Long a Congress bastion, Wardha is the only Lok Sabha seat in Vidarbha that the Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction will be contesting in this election. Mr. Tadas had twice defeated the Congress’ candidates in the 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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