NEW DELHI:The campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections reached its peak on Sunday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal pulling out all the stops to take on their respective rivals.
As Gandhi jumped into the campaign for the first time by addressing a massive rally in south Delhi’s Badarpur area, the three leaders traded charges and counter-charges, with the Congress chief terming Modi as a “pracharak (campaigner)” and Kejriwal as “dharnabaaz (agitator)”. She also cautioned voters to guard against the “politics of hatred”.
In his rally in Dwarka, the third in the city and the second in two days, Modi made a fervent appeal to the electorate not to vote for those who believed in “dharnas”.
In a reference to the past year, when Delhi was under President’s Rule, he said: “The year that was wasted set us back 25 years.”
He also took a swipe at his opponents who had said that the prices of petrol and diesel have come down in India because “Modi is lucky”.
He received a thunderous applause when he asked his audience whether they would like a lucky person or someone who was less lucky.
Targeting the Congress, Modi said, “Let’s accept I am lucky, but you have saved money. If Modi’s luck is benefiting people, what can be more fortunate?
“If because of my good luck, the prices of petrol and diesel get reduced and the common man saves more, then what is the need for bringing someone who is unlucky ?”
His concern, Modi said, was that every family should have a home by the 75th year of India’s Independence.
Coming down heavily on the Congress and the AAP, Modi said “they forged a friendship behind the curtains to form government.
“As soon as the polls were declared, they started competing each other in spreading lies which could lead to sensation and give them space in the media.”
Modi cautioned that the city would suffer if the electorate voted for someone who was more interested in “dharnas” and was “looking for space in TV media” than talking about pressing issues to address them.
“Running a government is a serious task… Governments cannot be run by getting space in the media but getting a space in the hearts of people.”
Hitting back at the PM, Kejriwal said: “I don’t sit on dharnas for myself. I sit on dharnas for the people.”
At Badarpur, Gandhi said that the country was not run on slogans.
She said: “It takes struggle and sacrifice to develop a country. This is only in the Congress… One is a pracharak (campaigner) and the other is a dharnabaaz (agitator). The country does not run on speeches. We need the spirit of struggle and dedication.”
Targeting the Modi government at the Centre over its campaign promise of bringing “achchhe din (good days)”, the Congress president said: “ The Modi government is in power now. I want to ask what happened to the promised Rs 15 lakh that they were supposed to give every person after getting back black money?
“What happened to jobs for the youth? Where are the reduced prices ? This is the reality of the hollow promise of achchhe din.”
Saying that the Manmohan Singh-led government at the Centre had strengthened land rights through the Land Acquisition Bill, the Congress president said that the current Central government had opened it up for land grabbers.
She said: “We gave food to 67 percent people through the food security scheme. They have brought it down to 40 percent people.” – From The Asian Age