New Delhi: Ahead of the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aiming for a record fourth term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the Congress party is trying to join hands with regional parties because it fears losing the polls.
Launching the BJP’s election campaign in the state, Modi cautioned party workers that the opposition will use money power, misinformation campaign and caste differences to oust the ruling party.
“The Congress is scared of losing the assembly elections. That is why it wants certificates from smaller parties. BJP will not let the Congress succeed in its design of using money power, caste differences and misinformation campaign against BJP," Modi told party workers in Bhopal.
Modi said discussions between opposition parties and the ruling party should be on policies and development, but Congress leaders lacked credibility and were not ready to make development an election issue. He said five more years of a BJP government in the state will help Madhya Pradesh as the party is also in power at the Centre.
Modi also targeted the Congress on the issue of instant triple talaq, saying that the party was not ready to support the cause due to vote bank politics. “How can we differentiate on the basis of religion when we talk about protecting the rights of our women and girls? Congress is not worried about the rights of Muslim women and is only worried about vote-bank politics. Women should have equal rights."
The upcoming assembly elections in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will see a direct clash between the BJP and Congress. They assume further significance for the BJP as it is aiming for a repeat of its dominant performance in the 2014 general elections, when it managed to win 62 of the 65 Lok Sabha seats in these three states. The polls are due in December.
Continuing his attack on the Congress, Modi said the party, which has a history of 133 years, should introspect to understand why it is in a decline and is being rejected by people in most states. Modi also alleged that the Congress leadership was looking for an alliance outside India to oust him. Would a foreign country now decide who should be the prime minister of India, he asked.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra has claimed that the Congress was conspiring with Pakistan to oust Modi. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also named former French president Francois Hollande in connection with his remarks on the Rafale controversy.