Amethi, May 5 (IANS) BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Monday tore into the Gandhi family, accusing them of not only being “arrogant” and “power drunk” but also of ignoring the welfare and interests of the poor.
Addressing a massive gathering at Gauriganj town in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, from where Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is the incumbent member, Modi sought votes for BJP candidate Smriti Irani, saying the time has come to throw out dynastic politics and espouse the cause of development.
Challenging Gandhi to a debate with Irani, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said if the media wants to test the competence of both the candidates, they should ask them the names of villages in the constituency.
He said if Irani – who he called his younger sister – names 100 villages, the Congress leader would not know about more than 10.
Modi said he has not sent Irani to Amethi to increase the tension of Rahul Gandhi but to end the tension of the people.
“I do not believe in ‘badla’ (revenge), but in the politics of ‘badlaav’ (change),” he said.
The Gujarat chief minister said Congress leaders scoff at him on what would be his future if he lost the polls.
“Congress leaders say that Rahulji in case of loss will be leader of opposition, but what happens to Modi? I can assure them that in such a scenario my tea-selling vend is ready,” he said to loud applause.
Asking the people of the Gandhi pocketborough to seek a report card from Rahul Gandhi of the work he had done in the last 10 years, he said that in 2019, he will come and deliver Irani’s report card.
Modi said that in 60 months, things will change for the better in Amethi and assured the people that international universities would be set up there.
Slamming Congress leaders for ridiculing the Gujarat model of development, Modi said the party should instead tell people what was the model followed in Amethi, where good roads, uninterrupted power supply and jobs were elusive.
Recounting how his government had checked the school dropout rate of girls by building over 76,000 toilets in schools, Modi said he was pained to see the situation in one of the most hyped constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
“Three generations have gone by hoping and dreaming. I do not want the young generation to throw away their’s by the hollow promises sold by the Gandhi clan,” he said, as youngsters clapped and whistled.
Slamming Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s comment that he practised “politics of anger”, Modi said Rajiv Gandhi, then as Congress general secretary, had humiliated a party chief minister in Andhra Pradesh.
He said Sitaram Kesri was thrown out of the Congress on the wishes of Sonia Gandhi and even the mortal remains of former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao were not allowed to be kept at the Akbar Road office of the party because she had wanted it that way.
“This trend of anger has been continued by Rahul Gandhi who humiliated the prime minister by terming as ‘nonsense’ an ordinance passed by the cabinet,” he said.
Modi also took an indirect jibe at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on how she had responded to a reporter’s question on Smriti Irani by asking who was she.
Stating that such “arrogance” has no place in democracy, Modi urged the people to end dynastic politics and instead vote for development. Amethi goes to the polls May 7.