Modi challenges Congress to appoint a non-Gandhi as its chief
Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh): Exploiting to the hilt Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's remarks that a "Chaiwala" (tea-seller) became Prime Minister because of Jawaharlal Nehru's commitment to democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Congress challenging it to appoint a non-Gandhi as party president for five years.
He said the Congress was not ready to credit people for this but only his dynasty.
"Do a little thing, if you respect democracy. If a chaiwala or Modi became the Prime Minister because of your faith in democracy, policies, role in constitution and due to Nehru, make any good Congress leader the President of your party for at least five years. Then I will accept that Nehruji had such a commitment to democracy that has led to a dedicated Congress leader becoming the President of the party," Modi told Congressmen addressing a public meeting in Chhattisgarh's Ambikapur.
The Prime Minister's attack came after Tharoor while re-launching his book "Nehru: The Invention of India" on November 13, had said that a chaiwala became the Prime Minister because of Nehru's commitment to democracy and institution building that provided for a democratic framework.
Modi said it would be good for the country if a person outside the Nehru family became president of that party.
"I know it will be good when the country gets out of dynastic politics. But, they are not ready to give credit for this to the 125 crore people of this country that a chaiwala became the Prime Minister.
"They do not want to give credit to BJP and Modi. This is the result of their undemocratic thinking. For this too, they want to give its credit to Nehru," he added.
Attacking the Congress policy during the division of Telangana, Modi said: "Atalji (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) created Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
"It was a peaceful division and both the states are progressing rapidly today. But look at what the Congress did at the time of creation of Telangana."
He accused the Congress of not fulfilling the majority of its promises made to the people during Digvijay Singh's tenure as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for two years at the time of the state's division and Ajit Jogi's three years' regime as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister.
"What did the Congress governments do for the people of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh when they were in power in these states?
"The work that the BJP did, didn't happen during Congress's regime. It all happened because of Modi and Raman Singh.
"Now, a home is being given in the name of a woman which was earlier given in the name of her husband and son. Now people get free LPG connection for which they earlier sought an MP or Minister's help," he said.
The Prime Minister said that "four generations of Congress" ruled but they have nothing to tell the people.
"Today, they are demanding our four years' report card. We are everyday giving a report card of what we have done in the last four years.
"Congress nationalised the banks in the name of poor but what is the reason that the poor did not have any access to banks? What is the reason that the poor did not have even a bank account? When we came to power, we empowered the poor, opened their bank accounts," Modi said.
He said that the BJP is the only party which does not discriminate in the name of caste. "Government's motto is welfare of all, not a select few. Our mantra is 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' and we are committed that fruits of development reach every citizen."
Thanking the people of Bastar region for turning out in large numbers to cast their votes during the first phase of the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh that concluded on November 12, Modi appealed to them to break that record by voting in maximum numbers in the second phase of the polls on November 20.
"By voting in first phase polls, the people gave a befitting reply to those who spread fear among them showing gun and exploding bombs and attempt to strangle democracy," he said.