NEWS / RAEBARELI
RAEBARELI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the fight straight to the enemy camp Sunday, storming the Congress citadel here and addressing a hugely attended public meeting in what is Sonia Gandhi’s parliamentary seat and pocket borough.
Modi’s first public appearance after the biting defeat for his BJP in five state assembly polls, which conceded considerable ground to the principal Opposition the Congress came as a warning shot to the grand old party – that there is still fire left in him to take on his rivals.
Modi pooh-poohed the Congress, indirectly the Nehru family and principally Sonia Gandhi for not doing anything for the progress of the region. He announced a central allocation of Rs 1,000crore for the projects in the constituency and said the rail coach factory here – ailing for years – would now be lifted to the level of the world’s top coach manufacturing unit. “They brought rakes from here and painted them here. Now, thousands of coaches would be produced here,” he said to the loud applause of the massive crowd that heard him for nearly an hour.
Asked the PM: “I am asking the Congress, is it opposing the Rafale deal because no Quattarochi “mama” and Christian Michel “uncle” were involved in the deal, he asked in a pointed reference to the Italian connections, the shadow of which might reach up to the new generation of the Nehru household.
The Prime Minister said the Congress was not talking big about helping farmers, but it did little for the farmers when it governed India. Even now, when it promised loan waiver in Karnataka, its government in association with JDU has not done to more than a thousand farmers,” he said.
Starting with Raebareli, the Prime Minister is set to address a series of rallies across the country soon, in what could be the sounding of the bugle for the next Lok Sabha pols. Modi’s BJP went down in esteem in the Hindi belt states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, but notably, it retained its vote share in both MP and Rajasthan despite the strong anti-incumbency sentiments there.
It is from this feel-good factor that Modi is now setting about to change the nation’s mood in favour of him and the BJP. –IHN-NN