Betul/Shajapur/Jhabua, Nov 14 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday mocked Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, calling him "leader of fools" over his remarks on China-made mobile phones, as he wrapped up his hectic election campaign in Madhya Pradesh after reaching out to tribals and predicting a "storm" in the BJP's favour in the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's star campaigner addressed three poll rallies in a day -- in Betul, Shajapur and Jhabua -- and capped his whirlwind tour of the state with a roadshow in Indore in the evening on the penultimate day of canvassing for the November 17 assembly polls.
In a sharp attack on Gandhi for his "made in China mobile phones being used by people in India’ remarks, Modi asked, “In which world does the moorkhon ke sardar (leader of fools) lives.” Addressing a rally in Betul, Modi said India now exports mobile phones worth Rs 1 lakh crore, and added Congress leaders were afflicted with the “mental disease” of ignoring the country’s achievements.
“A mahagyani (very wise man) of the Congress said yesterday that Indians only have made in China mobile. In which world the 'moorkhon ke sardar' lives?” Modi said.
“I wonder what foreign glasses they are wearing that they are unable to see the country's achievements,” he said, without directly naming Gandhi.
Modi’s no-holds barred attack came a day after the Congress leader’s remark that mobile phones in India were mostly made in China.
At the rally, the PM said India was the second biggest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world.
“When the Congress was in power, India's manufacturing of mobile phones was under Rs 20,000 crore. Today, India's industry has grown to over Rs 3.5 lakh crore. India is also exporting mobile phones worth Rs 1 lakh crore," Modi said.
Modi said the Centre will launch a scheme worth Rs 24,000 crore for the welfare of adivasis on Wednesday when the nation celebrates tribal icon Birsa Munda's birth anniversary.
“Tomorrow (November 15) is Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas. I will go to Jharkhand to pay respect to (tribal icon) Bhagwan Birsa Munda. The entire country will celebrate Bhagwan Birsa Munda's jayanti and the Centre will announce a scheme worth Rs 24,000 crore for the welfare of tribals,” the PM said.
Modi maintained he has seen "unprecedented trust and affection" for the BJP among the people of Madhya Pradesh, and added the Congress has accepted defeat ahead of elections.
The Congress knows that its fake promises won't work in front of Modi's guarantees, the PM said.
“As November 17 (polling day) is nearing, Congress' claims are getting exposed. The Congress has accepted defeat," Modi said.
The Grand Old Party never believed that abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, law against instant triple talaq and the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will ever be a reality, but "we have done all these things," Modi asserted.
At the gathering in Shajapur, the PM asserted that a storm is blowing in favour of the BJP because of people's tremendous support, and it will uproot the Congress from the state.
"I can see a large number of people attending this meeting with many of them standing out in the sun as arrangements made for the rally fell a little short as compared to the turnout. A storm is blowing in the state that will uproot Congress's 'tambu' (tent)," he said.
India is being praised for its developmental initiative across the world and everybody wants to invest in the country as its economy ranked fifth globally, said the PM.
"In my third term (as the prime minister), I will take the country's economy among the top three in the world," Modi asserted.
Targeting the Congress, the PM said the opposition party indulges in corruption wherever it comes to power and works only for the welfare of one family, apparently referring to the Gandhi family.
"The Congress's only agenda is to loot, loot and loot and commit atrocities, atrocities and atrocities...And it focuses only on negativity," he alleged.
Referring to the introduction of medical and engineering courses in Hindi in Madhya Pradesh, Modi said the Congress never wanted the poor to become doctors and engineers.
"That's why the BJP government started these courses in Hindi, but it (Congress) is even opposing that," the prime minister added.
Speaking at his last rally of the day in tribal-dominated Jhabua district ahead of Friday polling, Modi said the Congress was not in contention in Madhya Pradesh and heading for a "shameful defeat" in polls and slammed his rival party for treating tribals just as a vote-bank.
“The atmosphere which I have seen in entire Madhya Pradesh clearly shows the lotus (the BJP symbol) is going to boom. I do not see the Congress in the game. It is heading for a shameful defeat. People will choose development and elect the BJP when they vote. The Congress will face a crushing defeat,” he said.
The PM maintained tribal community members were very angry with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan (the last two states are also facing polls), but they were happy with the BJP as it works for their development.
He said the BJP government was starting schools in tribal-dominated districts and had promised to open a medical college in each of these areas.
“When in power, the Congress looked at the tribal community merely as a vote-bank, while the BJP's double-engine government (saffron party in power in MP and also at the Centre) continuously worked for their welfare and to change their lives,” he said.
The BJP's star campaigner said when the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh, only news of starvation and hunger came out of tribal areas.
In the evening, Modi took part in a massive roadshow in Indore in a bid to reach out to voters and seek their support for the BJP. The PM boarded an open 'chariot' built on a small four-wheeler from s Bada Ganpati square.
A "saffron corridor" was created for the prime minister's roadshow by covering the barricades on both sides of the road with saffron cloth. As he walked through the corridor, Modi waved at the people gathered there in large numbers. BJP workers standing along the route were seen holding party flags.
The PM's chariot passed through Indore-1, Indore-4 and Indore-3 constituencies, covering a distance of about 1.5 km and reached Rajbada intersection in the heart of the city an hour later.
Polling for the 230 assembly seats will take place in single phase and votes will be counted on December 3. PTI LAL MAS HWP GK VT KRK NP RSY