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The Hindu
The Hindu
Shubhomoy Sikdar

Terrorists, Maoists emboldened when Congress comes to power: Modi in Chhattisgarh

Launching a frontal attack on the Chhattisgarh government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday alleged that the morale of terrorists and Maoists goes up whenever the Congress is in power. 

Addressing a poll rally in Bishrampur in Surajpur district in the tribal heartland of Sarguja, Mr. Modi also accused the State government of encouraging illegal immigration and snatching tribal lands for appeasement. He further slammed the government for the murders of Bharatiya Janata Party workers in the insurgency-affected southern tribal belt of Bastar, which went to the polls in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly election on Tuesday.

“In whichever State the Congress assumes power, the rule of crime and loot prevails there. The Congress government has failed to control Naxalite violence. In the past few days, BJP workers have been snatched away from us; just a few days ago, our friend was shot dead and his life was destroyed. So brothers and sisters, do we have to live under the shadow of bombs and guns? No matter how much money you have, if your son does not return home in the evening and your son’s dead body comes home, what will you do with the money?” he said. 

Safety concerns

Highlighting the need for better safety for everyone, Mr. Modi alleged that under Congress rule, human trafficking and the drug trade had increased massively in the Sarguja division. 

“Here, criminals are targeting sisters and daughters. Many girls from our tribal families and poor families have gone missing; Congress leaders have no answer as to where the daughters have gone. Here, illegal infiltrators are being encouraged by the Congress for votes. The land of tribals is being snatched away. Due to the appeasement policy of the Congress, even celebrating festivals has become difficult,” he said. 

Comparing his governance record and initiatives taken for tribals with those under Congress rule, the PM asked why, if so much work could happen under his tenure, the Congress failed to do the same, given that it had ruled for five to six decades.

Tribal welfare measures

Recounting his achievements, he said that the budget for the welfare of tribals had been hiked, while 80,000 community land deeds had been allotted over the past decade, compared to just 23,000 allotted before he took charge. For decades after independence, India’s 10 crore tribals had no existence for the Congress, which considered money spent on them as money flushed down the drain, he alleged.

Mr. Modi also cited the 500 new Eklavya Model Schools which were set up in tribal regions during his tenure. He claimed that the Congress had made rules which did not provide equal opportunities to those who were educated in native languages, and explained how he planned to change that. 

Keeping promises

He reiterated his earlier announcement on extending the Union government’s scheme to provide 5 kg of free foodgrains per month to 81 crore Indians for another five years, noting that his government fulfils its guarantees.

“My family members, the BJP government does what it says. BJP had said that it will provide free treatment facility up to ₹5,00,000 to every poor person, BJP had said that it will build toilets in every house, BJP had said that a swing will be installed in every poor person’s house. We will give gas connections, we will make a law for women’s reservation, we will make a law against triple talaq — we have fulfilled all the guarantees,” he said, adding that he had kept his promise to build a grand temple for Lord Ram as well as to build four crore houses for the poor.

Corruption charges

Attacking the Bhupesh Baghel government on the issue of corruption, specifically the Mahadev betting app case, Mr. Modi cited a recent video in which a man claimed that he had paid over ₹500 crore to the Chief Minister. The allegations against Mr. Baghel were so serious in nature that even the top leaders of the Congress stayed away from defending him, he added.

“Everyone has become silent because they know that he sunk the entire Congress party to benefit himself and his children,” he said.

The PM once again used a Hindi slogan on corruption against Mr. Baghel, modifying it slightly to fit the Mahadev app scam context: “Tees take kaka, khule aam satta [30% commission uncle, betting’s out in the open]. Referring to Mr. Baghel, he said that such a person should not sit on the CM’s chair for even one day.  

While slamming the Congress government over irregularities related to the Public Service Commission and coal transportation, Mr. Modi also accused it of cheating the farmers in the name of an agricultural loan waiver.

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