Days ahead of the crucial Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday launched a spate of attacks on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, accusing the grand-old party of practicing "petty politics" to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government from the state. Chouhan was replying to Congress state unit president Kamal Nath, who in a viral video, has been reportedly seen asking Muslim leaders to secure at least 90 per cent of their votes for the party in order to dethrone the Saffron party in Madhya Pradesh.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said, "the Congress is practicing petty politics. They are the biggest communal party. Sometimes they want Muslim votes. At times, they visit temples. Some of their leaders roam around with a garland of lemons and chilly around their neck. They claim that they will lose if they don't get 90 per cent Muslim votes. Then it is better to lose".
Congress is the biggest communal party. Sometimes they need Muslims' votes, sometimes they act to visit temples, they even do 'totka'.One of their leaders is roaming around wearing garland of lemons and chillis.Votes shouldn't be sought on the basis of religion: Madhya Pradesh CM pic.twitter.com/8VgLguCfuQ— ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2018
"In a democracy, people vote on the basis of the work a government does, the policies and the vision of the government, but to make Hindu-Muslim a basis for asking votes is a rubbish mentality. The Congress is just too frightened as they are going to lose the polls and is now dividing the nation," Chouhan added.
Referring to the Congress's allegations of corruption against the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, the chief minister said the Rahul Gandhi-led party is levelling false charges against him as they could not accept the fact that the son of a farmer has been elected the chief minister of the state.
"The son of a farmer is the chief minister while the son of a 'chaiwala' (tea-seller) is the prime minister. They cannot live with that. I don't worry about their allegations," ANI quoted Chouhan.
"Everywhere the people are favouring the BJP. I am sure we will win spectacularly," he added.
Reacting strong to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's promise of waiving off farmers' loans in Madhya Pradesh within 10 days of coming to power, Chouhan said, " if someone asks him to bring the moon from the sky, will he get it? He says anything nowadays".
If someone says him to bring the moon from the sky, will he get it? Kuch bhi keh rahe hai aaj kal: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Rahul Gandhi's statement to waive off farmers' loan within 10 days if Congress wins the elections pic.twitter.com/UHaphwZyNF— ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2018
Polling in Madhya Pradesh will take place on 28 November to elect members of the 230 constituencies across the state. It is believed to be a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 11, 2018.
Chouhan has been ruling Madhya Pradesh since 2005 while the Saffron party has been in power in the state since 2003.