Bhubaneswar: Union minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday attacked the Congress on Thursday saying the party has been making false promises of eradicating poverty for four generations since the time of Jawaharlal Nehru.
The senior BJP leader also asserted that only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can keep the country safe by crushing terrorism and also ensure speedy development and end woes of the poor.
"The Congress ruled the country for decades since Independence. For four generations, its leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru pledged to eradicate poverty, but the promises have been false," Gadkari said.
After Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi became the prime minister, gave the slogan of "Garibi Hatao" and launched schemes such as the 20-point programme, but failed to eradicate poverty, the Union minister of road transport and highways said.
Addressing election rallies in Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar Lok Sabha constituencies, Gadkari said the same was the story with Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh as all of them failed to mitigate the plight of the poor.
Referring to the Congress' proposed minimum income scheme NYAY, he said, "Now, the great grandson of Nehru (Rahul Gandhi) is banking on the poll plank of eradicating poverty. How can the people trust him? These people (Congress) have betrayed the poor for so many years by making false promises."
Hunger, poverty and unemployment persisted and the country remained backward as the Congress failed to work sincerely for development and the welfare of the poor, the minister said.
What the Congress failed to do in 70 years because of its wrong policies, corruption and lack of vision, the BJP-led government has done in just five years as it focused on good governance and honesty, he claimed.
About achievements of the Modi government, Gadkari said only 3.5 crore people in the country had bank accounts till 2014, 34 crore bank accounts were opened under Jandhan scheme and Rs 70,000 crore deposited therein.
Poor women in the country were spending hours in kitchens under unhygienic conditions, but Modi government provided LPG connections to 7 crore families under the Ujjwala Yojana, the Union Minister said.
Gadkari also came down heavily on Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government in Odisha accusing it of keeping the state backward and poor by obstructing implementation of a host of projects in many sectors including railways, roads and highways and industries.
"The BJD government is not cooperating with the Centre for implementation of many projects. It is delaying land acquisition and clearances for important projects," he claimed.
"The inefficient and corrupt government needs to be ousted as it failed in all spheres. It must be replaced in order to ensure development in Odisha," Gadkari said appealing to the people to vote for the BJP.
Assembly election in Odisha is being held along with Lok Sabha polls in four phases. While first phase poll was held on April 11, the remaining phases will be held on April 18, 23 and 29.