Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday intensified the poll fever on Saturday, launching all-out offensive against the Congress during his rallies in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
Dismissing an electoral challenge from the Congress, PM Modi described the party to be “like a Titanic ship which is sinking”, while also slamming it for promising to scrap the sedition law.
Addressing a poll rally in Nanded in support of BJP candidates from Nanded, Latur, Hingoli and Parbhani in central Maharashtra, Modi also said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has opted for a second seat where the "majority community is in a minority".
With an apparent reference to the Congress' manifesto promise of ensuring a minimum income guarantee to the poor, the prime minister said the opposition party plans to burden the middle class with more taxes to fund the scheme.
It offers the middle class, which is the backbone of the country, nothing, PM Modi claimed.
Whenever the Congress is in trouble, it makes false promises and then becomes "Gajini" (the character, played by Aamir Khan, which suffers from memory loss), Modi said.
"The Congress is like a Titanic ship which is sinking," Modi said, adding the party was reduced to just 44 seats in 2014 and it stares at a worse situation this time around.
He said the Congress has more factions in Maharashtra than the number of MLAs it has in the state.
‘Congress wants to give free hand to terrorists’
Earlier, addressing a rally at Hathuad in Balod district of Chhattisgarh, PM Modi said the BJP was contesting the Lok Sabha elections to punish "terrorists and separatists for their sins", but the Congress wanted to give them a free rein.
The prime minister hit out at Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi, saying the "naamdar" (dynast) has had to "run away" to find a safe seat.
"Congress and its allies are contesting the polls for looting the hard-earned money of people while we are contesting it to use every paisa judiciously.
"Congress and its allies are contesting elections for giving a free hand to terrorists and separatists, while we are contesting it to punish terrorists and separatists for their sins," PM Modi added.
"Congress and its allies are contesting the election to weaken the armed forces, while the BJP is fighting to make the armed forces self-reliant," he said.
"In the last five years, you have seen what is meant by a strong government. When the government is strong, the county does not sit quiet after a terrorist attack. It retaliates strongly," he said.
Calling the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act a "Suraksha Kavach" (armour)) of the security forces, he slammed the Congress for "promising to repeal it in its dhakosla patra (sham manifesto)".
The Congress has maintained that it has only promised review of the AFSPA.
‘Congress plans to dilute armed forces powers, break middle-class backbone’
During his election rallies in Sundargarh and Sonepur in western Odisha, PM Modi said that past governments did not had the courage to cross the border and kill terrorists, and hit out at Congress saying while the "chowkidar" showed guts to hit terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan, the grand old party wants to dilute powers of the armed forces.
He also accused the Congress of always using poverty as a major political weapon and said the best remedy to eradicate poverty was to do away with that party.
On the 39th foundation day of the BJP, PM Modi said, "The party was born out of sweat of its workers, not dynasty or money. It came into being and grew manifold with the sweat and labour of its workers."
He said BJP was guided by stalwarts such as Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Jagannathrao Joshi, Rajmata Scindia and Murli Manohar Joshi.