Opposition parties are facing a credibility crisis both in Chhattisgarh and the rest of the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today, accusing the Congress of resorting to "blatant lies" for political gains.
Talking to reporters in Raipur, Mr Singh also said Naxalism was "on its last leg" in India and assured that it would be wiped out in the next three to five years.
Campaigning for the second phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on November 20, Mr Singh said, "Congress and other opposition parties are struggling with credibility issues in the country".
"The condition of the Congress has weakened in the country and it has lost its strength. That is why Congress has not named its chief ministerial candidate in Chhattisgarh. It is like Congress has taken out a 'baraat' (marriage procession) without a groom," he said.
Terming the Congress poll manifesto as a "post-dated cheque of a bankrupt bank", he said the party has made "false promises" in it.
"The manifesto released by the Congress is an admission that the party has lost its credibility. Its manifesto is as meaningless as a post-dated cheque of a bankrupt bank. The manifesto is meaningless," Mr Singh said.
"Congress takes support of blatant lies. It talks about loan waiver, but in Karnataka, warrants are being slapped on farmers (for not repaying loans) and they are being arrested," he said.
Mr Singh said Congress gave slogans of removing poverty but the poor suffered during its rule. "In 1969, when the Congress was in power, nationalisation of banks was carried out, but it did not benefit the poor," he said.
Mr Singh also said Naxalism was going through its last phase in India. "Earlier, 90 districts were in the grip of Naxalism, but now it has come down to 10-11 districts. Very soon the country will get rid of the (Naxal) menace," he said.
It will take three to five years to end the Naxal menace in the country, he said.
"Earlier, more number of security personnel used to be killed in the Naxal violence, but the situation has now reversed. Now, more Naxals are gunned down," he added.
Mr Singh went on to appeal to Maoists to "drop their weapons and join the mainstream". "We have a good rehabilitation policy. Naxals who surrender get benefits of the policy," he said.
To a query on non-payment of bonus to grain producing farmers by the state government for a couple years, he said, "It is true that bonus was not paid to farmers for a couple of years due to certain circumstances. But the Chhattisgarh government paid the bonus this year and will continue to do so subsequently".
Mr Singh did not specify why did the state government fail to pay bonus to farmers for the last few years.
The Opposition has slammed the Raman Singh-led BJP government in the state for paying bonus to farmers ahead of polls, adding that the measure is aimed at reaping "political gains".
Despite being in power for the last 15 years, the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh is not facing a credibility crisis, he said. "In fact, people's faith in the BJP-led government has increased," Mr added.
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