Prime Minister Narendra Modi hits back at Rahul Gandhi, saying that Congress leaders make tall claims for Manipur and the northeast region when they visit but satirizes the dresses and culture of Manipur and Northeast India during their visits to other states.
Addressing a public meeting at Luwangshangbam, Imphal, Modi said: “Congress leaders come to Manipur and make big claims but make fun of the dresses and culture of Northeast India in other states. Moreover, the divided Manipur between hills and valleys and played politics over it. And they never worked to develop Manipur and Northeast region.”
The statement comes as an apparent response to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s jibe at PM Modi-led BJP government and RSS during his address in Imphal’s Hapta Kangeibung on Monday.
The Congress MP, alleging PM Modi of undermining the State’s history, culture, and language, had said: “Modi considered that he has a superior language and that he has the right to define India. On the contrary, I want to help preserve your language. I want to help preserve your culture and harmony. This is the difference between us.”
Modi claimed that BJP’s only five-year-old government has shown the seed for growth and development for the next 25 years in Manipur, differing with various inept governments and decades of Congress’s misgovernance before 2017.
“You have seen BJP’s good governance and also the good intention. In the last five years, the efforts we have made have strengthened the State for the next 25 years,” the PM underlined. “The BJP’s doubled-engine government has performed well and transformed Manipur tremendously.”
Congress had made bandhs and blockades synonymous with Manipur, affecting growth, employment, and business establishment, Modi alleged, asserting that the BJP government removed it.
“Making the impossible possible, people living both in urban and rural areas got relief from bandhs and blockades,” PM said. “The process of stability and peace that have started in these five years must be made permanent. Therefore, there is a need to form the BJP government this time with an absolute majority.”
Boasting about providing ‘free’ vaccines to people of the State, PM Modi asked the crowd: “Have you got vaccinated, and did you pay for those vaccines?”
“The corona pandemic has affected worldwide. It affected every individual in one way or the other. The BJP government took care of Manipur during these trying times. Today, all poor families and tribal families are being administered vaccines free of cost,” Modi told the gatherings.
He then went on to ask the masses to imagine what would have happened if the pandemic came before 2017 during bandhs and blockades times of Congress rule in the State.
Manipur hosted extensive election campaigns where different parties escalated a war of words to woo voters in the last few days. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday went all guns blazing against PM Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party. And PM Modi retaliated today, berating Congress during his address at Luwangshangbam in Imphal East district.
For the 60-seat Manipur Legislative Assembly, 20, 48, 169 electorates will vote in two phases on February 28 and March 5. The votes will be counted on March 10.