Attacking Congress for "running away" from declaring its prime ministerial candidate, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the ruling party was hiding behind excuses as it cannot match the BJP or Narendra Modi.
Speaking at the National Council meeting here today, Chouhan said the Congress was making excuses by saying that it has no tradition of declaring a prime ministerial candidate ahead of polls as it was aware of its defeat.
"There is no competition between BJP and other parties. They are not declaring their prime ministerial candidate and are making excuses that it is not in their tradition to do so. They know they are going to be defeated," he said.
Challenging the Congress to declare a PM candidate and come out in the open Chouhan, who has made a hat-trick in Madhya Pradesh, said "Declare your prime ministerial candidate and come in the field. Come out in the open and take the challenge."
The MP chief minister also took a jibe at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar over his tea-stall remarks against Narendra Modi, saying "such small-time leaders are no match for Modi".
Highlighting the policies of his government, he said it is due to the high growth rate of BJP-ruled states which were reporting over 10% growth that the country was growing at around 5%.
"UPA's achievement is because of the BJP states." He said the state was maintaining a growth rate of 10 per cent in the last eight years and development in agriculture and power sector was phenomenal.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has also made a hat-trick in the state, said some of the schemes of his government were better than that adopted by the Centre and said Food Security scheme was one of them.
"In Chhattisgarh, there is 90% coverage of people under the Food Security Scheme. Over 65 lakh people are getting 35 kg rice at Rs one a kg," he said.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also highlighted the social schemes launched by his government, saying that one scheme was providing Rs 1,000 per month to the married women in the state to counter the effects of inflation.
He also claimed that 30% of Goa's population was benefiting from this. Parrikar added that a sum of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,500 was also being provided to the retired and old people under a separate scheme.
Earlier BJP president Rajnath Singh felicitated the three Chief Ministers present and lauded all of them for their work in their states.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was not present due to her ill health.