Nitin Gadkari said the Congress spread the poison of casteism and communalism (File)
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of misleading people with a false promise of providing a minimum income of Rs 72,000 per year.
Addressing a campaign rally at Pathalgaon in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh, he also said the credit for transforming the country's image in the last five years did not go to him or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but to the people who gave majority to the BJP.
"Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, all gave the slogan "garibi hatao" (remove poverty) and people voted for them, but they did nothing.
"Similarly, Rahul Gandhi has started misleading the country by lying to people. He is making a false promise of giving Rs 72,000 per year to the poor," Mr Gadkari said.
"It is wrong, because they cannot give it. From where they will get the money? To mislead people has been the Congress' policy," he said.
"During its 50-year-rule, the Congress spread the poison of casteism and communalism. They misled people by telling them that the BJP government is anti-Dalit and it will change the Constitution. They tell Muslims that this government will chop them off and send them to Pakistan," he said.
"The Congress is spreading lies because it cannot seek votes on the basis of its work," Mr Gadkari said.
"We are working to fulfil the dream of making India a super-economic power," he added.
"The credit for changing the country''s image in the last five years does not go to me or prime minister Narendra Modi, but to the people who gave majority to the BJP (in 2014 polls) and gave us opportunity for undertaking development," the Union minister said.
He sought votes so that the BJP could continue "the process of development" and crack down on corruption. He also referred to the Modi government''s initiative to clean up the Ganga, saying now its water was so clean that Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi could drink it (when she visited Varanasi).
Priyanka Gandhi could also travel from Varanasi to Prayagraj by a boat because of the Modi government's internal waterway development program, he added.
Key irrigation projects remained incomplete for want of funds earlier, but the Modi government helped states to complete such projects and take water to the fields, Mr Gadkari said.
Mr Gadkari, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Nagpur, also mentioned that 450 buses are being run in his hometown on bio-CNG, saving on diesel consumption, and the experiment will be extended to many other cities.
Pathalgaon assembly segment falls in Raigarh Lok Sabha constituency which will go to polls on April 23. The BJP has fielded Gomtee Sai from the seat.
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