- PM Modi was speaking at his first public meeting in Raebareli
- PM's visit after BJP lost Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh polls
- He said Congress failed to complete the railway coach factory work
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took the battle against the Congress to its backyard Raebareli. Virtually kicking off the campaign for the 2019 national elections during a visit to the local railway coach factory, PM Modi ripped into the Congress over its allegations of Rafale deal, joblessness and farmers' woes and accused it of compromising the nation's security.
Uttar Pradesh, which the BJP had swept in last year's assembly elections, sends 80 lawmakers - more than any other state -- to parliament. The BJP, which won 70 of its 80 seats in 2014, had wrested it from the ruling Samajwadi Party last year. The Congress bastions of Raebareli and Amethi were also not immune. The party won two of the five assembly seats in Raebareli and four of five seats in Rahul Gandhi's Amethi.
Speaking at his first public meeting in the constituency, PM Modi said: "I want to know from the Congress -- is it agitated today and telling lie after lie because the BJP government's defence deals do not have any Quattrocchi "mama", Christian Michel uncle?"
Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian national, was one of the alleged middlemen in the Bofors deal made by the government headed by former Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi's husband Rajiv Gandhi.
Christian Michel, recently extradited by the United Arab Emirates, allegedly brokered the chopper deal for VVIPs with AgustaWestland.
"Is it because of this the Congress is trying to create an atmosphere lack of trust in the judiciary?" added the Prime Minister, whose party's setback in the assembly elections was followed by a positive note from the Supreme Court, which validated the government on the Rafale deal.
The Prime Minister's visit comes days after the BJP lost the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the Congress and its allies. It also failed to wrest Mizoram from the Congress and failed to expand its footprint in Telangana. The Congress has cited its victory to the people's wish for a change in face of the government's failure to provide respite to farmers and jobs to young people.
Taking on the Congress over its allegations of joblessness, the Prime Minister said in its home turf Raebareli, the party has failed to get a completed rail factory, that could employ thousands, off the ground.
"When the previous government decided to construct rail factory here, it was decided that 5,000 workers will be hired. But half of these posts were approved... In 2014, not a single new appointment was made at the factory, but today, nearly 2,000 workers have been appointed by our government," PM Modi said.
Regarding the farmers, he said the new Karnataka government of the Congress and HD Kumaraswamy has not been able to deliver on their promise of loan waiver. Citing media reports, he said so far, just about a thousand farmers have got their loans waived so far.