Modi goes after ‘forgotten’ Rajiv


Says country no longer remembers him because he did nothing to fight graft

Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi saying the country had forgotten him since he did nothing to curb corruption despite his party being in power right from Delhi to small village panchayats.

"Do you remember Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi?" Modi asked the crowd at his rally at Balasinor town of Kheda district.

When no response came from the audience, the chief minister supplied the answer himself. "Oh you don't! Anyway, it is better to forget some people. Congress spends Rs 700 crore on issuing advertisements on the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi and has named 400 schemes after his name. And still the country no longer remembers him now!"

Referring to allegations of corruptions in allotment of coal blocks and 2G spectrum, the CM said, "Rajiv Gandhi himself had said that if he sent one rupee, the ultimate beneficiary only got 15 paise. Why did he not take action against corruption when his party ruled right from Delhi to small panchayats?"

It was the panjo (hand, the symbol of Congress party) which took away chunks of the one rupee sent by the then Central government, Modi said.

The CM claimed there was no corruption in schemes run by his government. "We have changed the scenario through Garib Kalyan Melas (GKMs). If a rupee is sent from Gandhinagar, the real beneficiary gets 100 paise. In the last one year alone, we have held 1,000 Garib Kalyan Melas and distributed state benefits worth Rs 14,000 crore to 85 lakh beneficiaries," he claimed.

During the Congress reign in the state and Centre, he alleged, even a poor widow would have to hire a middleman to get pension benefits. "However, I have thrown this army of middlemen out of business. So, they are desperate now!" Balasinor has sizeable Muslim population and the town had witnessed riots in 2002.

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