Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh): A day after Rahul Gandhi talked of ‘jitni aabadi, utna haq’ promise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the Congress and countered the opposition, saying the largest population in the country for him is poor and their welfare is his goal.
Addressing a rally here, PM Modi also referred to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks made in 2006 that minorities must have the “first claim” on the country’s resources and asked if the Congress has changed its position if the party wants to decrease the “rights of the minority”.
PM Modi’s remarks came a day after the Bihar government released data of the caste survey which showed that the 63 per cent of the state’s population comprises Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Following the caste survey data, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had targeted the Centre saying that of the 90 secretaries in the Union government, only three belong to OBCs and control “only five per cent budget”.
Gandhi said in a post on X that Bihar’s caste survey shows that the population of OBCs, SCs and STs is 84 per cent in the state and “jitni aabadi, utna haq” is the party’s commitment.
PM Modi attacked the Congress and said the party “has been outsourced’.
"Since yesterday, Congress leaders are saying 'jitni aabadi utna haq'... I was wondering what the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be thinking. He used to say that the minority, particularly Muslims, has the first right to the country's resources... But now Congress is saying that the population of the community will decide who will have the first right to the country's resources. So now do they (Congress) want to decrease the rights of the minority? Do they want to remove the minorities? So, should the Hindus, who have the largest population, come forward and take all their rights?” PM Modi asked.
“I am repeating Congress party is no longer being run by Congress people. Senior leaders of Congress are sitting with their mouths shut, neither are they asked, nor do they dare to speak after seeing all this. Now Congress has been outsourced,” he added.
PM Modi countered the caste thrust of opposition parties by laying emphasis on removing poverty among all sections.
“People of Congress say ‘jitni aabadi, utna haq’ (share in power according to size of population). I say if there is biggest population in the country, it is of the poor. Poor are the biggest population for me and their welfare is my objective,” he said.
PM Modi also attacked the Congress government in Chhattisgarh, saying it has provided “ghotalebaaz sarkar” to the people of the state and “corruption and crime are at their peak”.
He said the development in the state “is seen on posters” and people are yearning for a change.
"Congress has given a 'Jhutha prachar aur ghotalebaaz sarkar' here. Congress government in Chhattisgarh has degraded the condition of the state. Everyone is fed up with this government. Corruption and crime are at their peak in the state. Sometimes it seems like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are competing with each other over the crime rates. Here development is seen either on posters or in the lockers of the leaders of the Congress government. Chhattisgarh is demanding change,” he said.
The Prime Minister, who inaugurated a steel plant at event before addressing the rally, said the facility belongs to the people of the state.
"They (Congress government in the state) want to capture the steel plant and want to earn a lot through this...The steel plant belongs to the people of Bastar. I will not make any Congress leader the owner of this steel plant. The steel plant in Bastar belongs to the people here and I will not let any leader of Congress misuse these steel plants...This belongs to you and will be yours only," he said.
The Prime Minister said that steel industries developed here will provide jobs to more than 55,000 people.
“More steel industries are to be set up here, giving jobs to more than one lakh people. In the upcoming years, youths from across the nation will come to Bastar for employment,” he said.
The Prime Minister accused Congress of neglecting Bastar region of the state for years.
“They never thought about the people's interests. BJP has done several development works here. You all know that as compared to Congress, the BJP gives five times more budget for the tribal people here,” he said.
The Prime Minister also attacked Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and said the Congress faces infighting in the state.
"There are two reasons behind this - firstly, they don't have time because they are busy saving the government. Secondly, this is Modi. No corrupt can make an eye contact with Modi," PM Modi said.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth about Rs 27,000 crore in Chhattisgarh, including the NMDC Steel Ltd’s steel plant at Nagarnar.
He inaugurated the steel plant at Nagarnar built at a cost of more than Rs 23,800 crore. The steel plant is a greenfield project that will produce high-quality steel.
Chhattisgarh is among five states that will go to the polls by the end of the year. BJP is seeking to oust the Congress government in the state which came to power in 2018.