Congress wants to complain to EC over free ration scheme extension, let them commit this ‘sin’: PM Modi

Congress wants to complain to EC over free ration scheme extension, let them commit this ‘sin’: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Damoh district, on November 8, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Damoh district, on November 8, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 said Congress leaders have been saying they will complain to the Election Commission of India (EC) over his promise of extending for five years the free ration scheme for the poor people.

“Let them commit this sin, I will continue to do good work for the people,” he said addressing a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh town ahead of the November 17 State Assembly polls. “Eighty crore people will get free ration for the next five years,” he added. PM Modi also said he will continue to fight against corruption despite abuses being hurled at him.

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“People gave power to the Congress in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, but their Chief Ministers were found involved in “satta” (betting) and generating black money,” he said.

PM Modi said that after 2014, the country’s economy climbed to 5th position from 10th, leaving behind the U.K., which ruled the country for more than 200 years.

“In 2014, when we came to power, the country’s economy was at the 10th position. Gradually it moved to 9th, 8th, 7th and 6th but nobody was talking about it. When it reached the 5th position and left behind the U.K., which ruled the nation for 200 years, everybody was surprised and started looking at India,” he said.

Mr. Modi said during his third tenure as PM, he will take the country’s economy among the top three in the world. The Lok Sabha elections are due next year.

Mr. Modi said if the Congress comes back to power, the “85% commission system” will work in the States as once stated by a Prime Minister of that party, an apparent reference to former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s remark that only 15 paise of every ₹1 released by the Centre reached the targeted beneficiary.

PM Modi also said he will continue to fight against corruption and asked people whether he should do so or not, to which they replied in the affirmative.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) last week claimed a forensic analysis and a statement made by a ‘cash courier’ have led to “startling allegations” that Mahadev betting app promoters paid about ₹508 crore to Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel so far. Mr. Baghel has denied all the allegations against him.

The Congress has been accusing the BJP-led Centre of weaponising the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax Department to target its government in Chhattisgarh through various raids.

PM Modi said, “Let them abuse me as much as they can, action against the corrupt will not stop. The Congress has looted the poor’s money. Do you know – Congress has made a special machine to loot the money of the poor. Under it, their government used to send ₹100, (of which) ₹85 used to go to Congress leaders’ coffers and only ₹15 reached the people,” he said.

“When our government came to power in 2014, I said things will not go this way ever. So, the first thing I did was I punctured all the tyres of this corrupt Congress machine,” Mr. Modi said listing various measures undertaken to rid the nation of corruption.

“People who “dozed off on beds filled with money” lost sleep and the poor have praised Modi for standing against corruption,” he said. PM Modi said the Opposition Congress has become desperate.

“The Congress abuses me 100 times a day for taking strict action against corruption. The people who are out on bail in scams worth thousands of crores are bound to be troubled by Modi. These people who abuse Modi are involved in cases and facing corruption charges,” he said.

“They are spending their life on bail. Let them abuse Modi as much as they can, action against the corrupt will not stop,” Mr. Modi said.

“Wherever Congress gets an opportunity…what it does…there is sattabazi (betting) in Chhattisgarh and red diary of kale karname in Rajasthan,” he said. “Government, Chief Minister’s room, and satta. The sattabaz (bookie) is saying he has paid ₹500 crore to Chief Minister,” he said.

“Do you want to ruin Madhya Pradesh?” the PM asked the gathering and said the Congress means a “guarantee of ruining”. People have come out on streets to teach a lesson (to the corrupt),” he said.

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