Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek
Ambikapur: Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) campaign committee head, Narendra Modi, kicked off the election campaign in Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
He held a massive rally in Chhattisgarh`s Ambikapur alongside CM Dr Raman Singh on a dais that was modelled on the lines of the Red Fort in Delhi (from the ramparts of which the prime minister of the nation addresses the citizens on the Independence Day).
Taking a dig at Congress` heir apparent, Rahul Gandhi`s recent comment about poverty being a `state of mind`, Modi said, "I am surprised at what Rahul said about poverty being a mental state. His grandmother (Indira Gandhi) would have been sad."
To a loud cheer, Modi addressed the gathering, and said, "I have ever seen such a huge gathering like the one here."
Modi praised Raman Singh`s work in the state, saying Singh`s development projects were laudable.
Taking the attack to the Congress-led UPA government in the Centre, Modi said the division of Telangana was a divisive act and Delhi was oblivious of janta`s problems.
"Congress has only been a bane for the country. NDA handled the division of states well, look at the Telangana mess," he said.
"Congress` arrogance is scaling new heights and citizens are badly treated. They only consider people as vote banks."
Taking a dig at the prime minister`s mismanagement of the economic crisis the country is reeling under, he said, "Rupee is in hospital due to Dr Manmohan Singh`s treatment."
"The Congress culture of arrogance is at the peak now, India`s over 1.25 billion people are fighting with acute poverty and inflation while its leaders are busy with giving new definitions of poverty," Modi said in Chhattisgarh,a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled-state.
"The failure of Manmohan Singh has led the economic situation to such a level that the rupee has landed in hospital where it is battling for life and death," Modi said at the rally in Chhattisgarh`s tribal heartland Ambikapur town, headquarters of sprawling Surguja region, some 250 km from Raipur.
Modi in a veiled attack on Gandhi in his 25-minute speech, saying, "People are battling with acute poverty and inflation while the Congress leaders are making a joke of the people`s plight as they have lost `connect` with people and their problems."
"The Congress is running a highly insensitive government at the centre, some of its leaders say that even Rs.5 is enough for getting stomach-full food in a day while one leader (referring to Gandhi) made the biggest joke of people`s plight and termed poverty a state of mind," Modi said.
BJP president Rajnath Singh and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh also addressed the rally, held during the Vikas Yatra in the state where assembly elections are scheduled for December.