Madhya Pradesh goes to polls on November 28. The Congress is hoping to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has ruled the state uninterrupted for 15 years since 2003. tags
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he would stop opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi the day he “discontinues dividing the nation” and “starts helping farmers, small traders and the poor of this country and not just his 15-20 industrialist friends”.
On the second day of his campaign in the Gwalior-Chambal belt of Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi launched a hard-hitting attack on chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, alleging that “he, his wife and some state bureaucrats are corrupt”.
Madhya Pradesh goes to polls on November 28. The Congress is hoping to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has ruled the state uninterrupted for 15 years since 2003.
The BJP has set a target of more than 200 seats this time. In the 2013 assembly elections, the BJP had won 165 of the 230 seats with a vote share of 44.88%. The Congress bagged 58 seats with a vote share of 36.38%.
Accompanied by state Congress chief Kamal Nath and campaign committee head Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gandhi began the day with a visit to Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor in Gwalior.
“Many people say that I oppose Modi. There is a reason for that. There are just 15-20 rich people standing behind him. The day he starts helping farmers, small traders, labourers and the poor and the day he stops dividing the country, I will stop opposing him,” Gandhi told a public meeting at Sabalgarh.
He attacked Chouhan and his family over the Vyapam scam, a multi-crore rupee recruitment scandal that has dominated political discourse for some time now, especially in view of the deaths of some accused and witnesses.
“Corruption is rampant in Madhya Pradesh. There is a hierarchy of corruption that reaches upto the chief minister. The entire Madhya Pradesh knows that the chief minister’s family is involved in the scam,” Gandhi alleged.
Chouhan has repeatedly denied his or his family’s involvement in the Vyapam recruitment tests.
The Congress leader said the people had trusted Modi and Chouhan and hoped they would fulfil their promises and provide employment to the youth and adequate minimum support price to the farmers, but they had failed.
Gandhi urged the people to give the Congress a chance in the elections, saying Kamal Nath had the experience and Scindia the strength. “They both will work together for the Congress,” he added.
Reacting to Gandhi’s speech, state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “Rahul Gandhi must make his stand clear on Rs 600 crore income tax evasion, Rs 5,000 crore National Herald scam and also the Sikh massacre in 1984.
“Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh has admitted several times that people in Madhya Pradesh doesn’t vote for Congress on seeing him. This is why he is being kept away from electioneering. Will Rahul Gandhi apologise to the people of Madhya Pradesh for the misrule during the Congress government headed by Singh from 1993 to 2003?”
First Published: Oct 16, 2018 22:57 IST