Amravati/Akola/Nanded (Maharashtra)/Bijapur/Belgaum (Karnataka), March 30:
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday hit out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the Lok Sabha ticket to Adarsh scam-tainted Ashok Chavan, and wondered how the “shehzada” (prince) had backtracked on his promise of no compromise against corruption.
Addressing a massive rally in Nanded, one of the three he addressed in Maharashtra before moving on to Karnataka, Modi said the Adarsh housing society scam highlighted the attitude of the Congress towards martyrs and the armed forces.
“Can there ever be a scam over widows of heroes who died in Kargil? Was giving a ticket part of your investigation into the scam? The Congress says the law allows Chavan to contest… it is shameless,” he said to loud applause.
“In Delhi, shehzada said there will be no compromise against corruption. You said there will be a probe against Ashok Chavan,” he said, questioning Rahul Gandhi.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had said at a press conference recently that there was no law barring Chavan from contesting the Lok Sabha polls.
The party has nominated Chavan, a former Maharashtra chief minister, from Nanded. He was held guilty by a judicial commission in the Adarsh scam.
Modi vowed that “those who looted the heroes of Kargil” will not be spared after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forms the government.
Earlier, in Akola, Modi lashed out at Rahul Gandhi who had criticised the Gujarat model of government.
He said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the centre had made no difference to the lives of farmers in Akola.
He also attacked Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, also the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, saying he had not helped cotton farmers who were suffering.
In Amravati, the BJP leader said that while he was trying to find a solution to the country’s problems, the Congress was trying to stop him.
In Bijapur, Modi said the Congress was “scared” with the election approaching.
“Why is the Congress so scared, why is the Congress shaking in fear?” he asked the cheering crowd.
“The Congress knows its place very well. It knows after May 16 (vote counting day) where its place will be. That is why it wants to stop Modi.”
He said India was blessed with three ‘Ds’ – demographic dividend, democracy and demand for goods and services to make the country prosperous over a decade.
Cautioning people against voting again for the ‘hand’ symbol of the Congress, the Gujarat chief minister said the party’s slogan – “Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath” (Congress’s hand is with the common man) – has turned into a cruel joke, as it was the very common man who is suffering from price rise, inflation, corruption and joblessness during the party’s decade-long tenure.
“The Congress’s hand is seen only during elections and vanishes till the next elections. Its leaders are very smart as they first show the hand, then fold hands (to greet you), shake hands (with you) and finally wave goodbye,” Modi said, drawing cheers from about one lakh people who assembled from nearby villages in Bijapur.
Attacking the Congress on its promise of generating 10 crore jobs in its manifesto, Modi said the party had failed to live up to a similar promise in 2009.
In Belgaum, he attacked the Congress over its “sky high arrogance” and ignoring the people.
Referring to the coal allocation scam, Modi said India has many power plants “yet it is in darkness”.
“The Congress government has locked down power plants because there is no coal. Why is there no coal? Because many coal files are missing,” he said, adding that the Congress should not be allowed to rule as they were robbing the country.