Modi focuses on tribals, Congress on vote bank politics: Shah in Madhya Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government focuses on the welfare of tribals, Dalits, the poor and the backward classes unlike the Congress, which indulges in “minority appeasement”, Union home minister Amit Shah said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government focuses on the welfare of tribals, Dalits, the poor and the backward classes unlike the Congress, which indulges in “minority appeasement”, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday as he attacked the opposition party in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
Shah also accused the previous Kamal Nath-led government in the state of corruption and exuded confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will return to power with at least 150 of 230 seats in the assembly elections.
Assembly elections in the state are due to be held this year.
The minister was addressing a gathering after flagging off the BJP’s ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in Jabalpur. The party is taking out such yatras from five different places in the state to connect with voters ahead of the polls. These yatras will culminate on September 25 in Bhopal with a ‘Karyakarta Mahakumbh’ (mega gathering of workers), according to party functionaries.
Shah urged the people to choose between the ideologies of the BJP and Congress. Referring to former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that minorities must have the first claim on resources, he said the Congress was too much into “appeasement of minorities” but the situation changed when Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.
“After Manmohan Singh spoke about minorities having the first right on resources, everyone protested, but the Congress government remained immersed in minority appeasement. Finally, Modi came to power in 2014 and he said in Parliament that his government is a government of tribals, backward, Dalits and poor and they have first right to the treasury,” he said.
“Now, you have to choose between these two ideologies,” he added.
The Union minister also said that during nine years of the BJP rule, the Modi government worked for the tribals, backward, Dalits and poor. The budget for tribal welfare was increased to ₹1.19 lakh crore by the Modi government from ₹24,000 crore during the Manmohan Singh government, he said.
He said the Congress devised a slogan of ‘Jal, Jungle and Jameen’ (water, forest and land) to fight for tribal rights but eventually did nothing for the community.
“It was Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji, who carved out the tribal affairs ministry. Modi ji added 23 castes to the list of tribals. He declared the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as Janjati Gaurav Diwas (tribal pride day). He laid the foundation stone of tribal museums at 10 places across the country to give respect to tribal freedom fighters Birsa Munda and Shankar Shah,” he said.
He said it was Prime Minister Modi who ensured the appointment of a tribal as President, referring to Droupadi Murmu. “The Congress was never concerned about the tribals. They did not make any tribal as Prime Minister or President of the country,” he said.
Alleging corruption under the previous Nath regime in the state, Shah said: “More than 51 poor welfare schemes were closed by this ‘corruption Nath’... The chief minister’s office became the money collection office. The Congress Working Committee became a ‘Corruption Working Committee’...,” he said.
Shah said the BJP will win at least 150 seats in the assembly elections. “The people will choose the double-engine government for progress and development, and not the corrupt government of ‘corruption Nath’,” he said.
The term “double engine” is a reference to the party being in power at the Centre and in a state and is used to denote the enhanced capability of the party to meet the poll promises.
Later, Shah was to reach Sheopur to launch another yatra, but the helicopter that was supposed to carry him could not take off from Gwalior due to sudden rains. The home minister then addressed those gathered in Sheopur, including Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Ashwini Vaishnaw, via mobile phone.
A new era of development has begun in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, while Madhya Pradesh has “transformed from BIMARU (laggard) state to ‘bemisal’ (unmatched) state under the stewardship of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan”, he said
The Congress hit back and said the BJP will not win more than 50 seats in the elections.
“BJP leaders started the divide and rule policy but this time, they won’t win even 50 seats. This time, the elections will be held only on development issues and not on communal ones,” state Congress spokesperson Ajay Yadav said.
Meanwhile, Nath slammed Shah for not speaking on the alleged vandalisation of a Hanuman idol in Gujarat’s Botad earlier this week. “Home Minister Amit Shah is arriving for an election tour in Madhya Pradesh today, the worship day of Lord Bajrangbali. The idol of Lord Bajrangbali was vandalised in the Botad district of Gujarat. This is the same Hanuman temple that you inaugurated in April. Four days have passed since the incident, but till now you have not uttered a word from your mouth,” he posted on X prior to Shah’s visit to the poll-bound state.