Patna: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the people of the country have no faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s empty promises.
Addressing her first election rally in Bihar in Kahalgaon assembly constituency in Bhagalpur district since the dates of the assembly polls were announced last month, she said: “People have no faith in Modi’s hollow promises.”
Stating that the upcoming Bihar assembly polls would give a new direction to the country, she said: “Vote for the grand alliance of Congress, JD-U (Janata Dal-United) and RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) in the polls to get rid of empty promises of Modi.”
She said the prime minister spent more time in foreign than in his own country and loves hugging powerful people only, adding: “Modi’s government is working for industrialists only, this government is anti-poor and anti-farmer.
She blamed the government’s wrong policies for causing inflation in the country and leading to a big army of unemployed youths.
Gandhi also said reservation for Dalits and Other Backward Classes was as per the constitution and no one could end it.
She is scheduled to address her second rally in Vajirganj assembly seat in Gaya district on Saturday evening.
India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.
Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.
The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.
“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”
Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.
Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”
The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.
The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.
A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.
Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.
The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.