In his 49-minute speech at a rally in Mumbai on Friday, saying it had been duped by the past Congress governments
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked the working class at the country's financial capital. In his 49-minute speech at a rally in Mumbai on Friday, saying it had been duped by the past Congress governments. He lauded the contribution of the "honest" middle-class towards various welfare schemes and mentioned that for the first time in the history of the nation's budget, the government has thanked the middle-class on record.
He expressed gratitude towards various sections of Mumbaikars including the koli community, dabbawalas, cabbies and the conservancy staff for keeping Mumbai going come rain or shine, and despite terror attacks and bomb blasts.
"The chowkidaar could undertake various welfare measures only because of the huge contribution made by the middle class," said the Prime Minister at MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla Complex. "After one appeal by me, crores of them gave up gas subsidy which helped provide gas cylinders to crores of households. Four million senior citizens gave up their subsidy for railway tickets and volunteered to pay full fare. Whether it is blood donation, eye donation or even body donation, the middle-class is always the first in line to contribute." He also mentioned the citizen effort to clean up beaches.
The Prime Minister was flanked by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He then turned to his party's old foe, the Congress and predicted it won't even win 50 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, and urged people to "not waste your vote. Better to vote for a party that is coming to power and you can strengthen it with your vote," he said, adding "The only question now is whether the BJP will better its own 2014 tally."
He also hauled up the Congress for neglecting the police force and turning it into a "punching bag" while the party was in power. He also accused the Congress of ignoring the younger generation, despite the arrival of the digital age, and said it was still living in the feudal era of kings and princes.
Modi's attack on the opposition party came in the backdrop of a raging controversy over BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur's remarks about 26/11 Mumbai terror attack martyr police officer Hemant Karkare.
Had it not been for the alertness of Mumbai Police, who have paid a heavy price including martyrdom, the city would have paid a heavier price due to terror activities, he said.
"The Congress attitude has been to change chief ministers and home ministers following terror attacks; we have changed that culture," Modi said.
The Congress did not do anything for the security forces, Modi said and underlined his government's decision to build a police memorial in New Delhi.
—With agency inputs