Chhindwara: Union Minister Amit Shah on Saturday slammed the Congress for its treatment of tribals and the downtrodden and said only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can provide security and prosperity to the country and also ensure the welfare of the poor.
Speaking at a gathering in Chhindwara, a bastion of Madhya Pradesh Congress Chief Kamal Nath for almost 50 years now, Shah asked people to vote overwhelmingly for the BJP in the Assembly polls to be held in the state later this year.
Training his guns on Mr Nath, the Union Minister said the former did nothing for the people of the state when he was Chief Minister between December 2018 and March 2020.
"Previous Congress governments did not care for the tribals, the poor and those from the Other Backward Classes. Only the BJP can provide security, prosperity and ensure welfare of the poor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi cares for the respect of tribals, whom the Congress has neglected for years," Mr Shah said. A woman from the tribal community is now the President of India due to the efforts of PM Modi, he said referring to President Droupadi Murmu.
The PM had also announced the nationwide celebration of legendary tribal leader Birsa Munda's birth anniversary on November 15 as 'Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas', the Union Home Minister said. Some 35-40 per cent of people from the Chhindwara region are from tribal communities.
The Narendra Modi government removed provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, while the Congress dragged its feet on the issue for years, he said. "In the last nine years (of NDA rule), bank accounts had been opened for seven crore citizens, 13 crore persons got gas cylinders and 10 crore families saw toilets getting built in the their homes. More than 60 crore people were reaping the benefits of Ayushman Bharat health scheme, which has a coverage of Rs 5 lakh," the Union Minister said.
MP Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Chhindwara in 1980 and repeated the feat several times, with his only loss coming in a by-poll in 1997.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP managed to win 28 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in MP, including that of then Congress heavyweight Jyotiraditya Scindia, but Chhindwara remained out of grasp with Nath's son Nakul Nath winning it by a margin of more than 35,000 votes.
The Congress had formed a government under Kamal Nath after the 2018 Assembly polls before a rebellion by MLAs loyal to Scindia brought it down in March 2020 and paved the way for the return of a BJP dispensation under Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Shah's meet was part of the BJP's mass outreach programme set to cover 130-odd Lok Sabha seats it failed to win in the 2019 polls, party functionaries said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)