Chattarpur: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday sharpened his attack at the Congress, saying that the state became economically weak, “bimaru (sick)”, when the party was in power.
Addressing a campaign rally here, Chouhan said that Congress is angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) because of the developmental and welfare work undertaken by his government in the last 15 years since it came to power.
“Of the 70 years since we achieved independence, Congress was in power for 54 years. What did Congress do during that time? During their rule, they destroyed Madhya Pradesh. They turned Madhya Pradesh into a bimaru state. We are now in power in Madhya Pradesh for the last 15 years,” Chouhan said.
Bimaru is an acronym that came up in the mid-1980s and was used to refer to the poor economic conditions of four states, namely Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Taking a jibe at the Congress over its poll promise of waiving loans for the farmers, Chouhan said: “Let me ask you all one thing, Congress ruled for 54 years, did they worry about the farmers at that time? Now, they are talking about the welfare of farmers.”
He further said, “Congress used to provide loans to farmers on 18 per cent interest. We reduced it to zero per cent. Now we have a scheme called ‘Mukhyamantri Laghu Kisan Swavalamban Scheme’ for small farmers. We also plan to give them huge benefits by giving them bonuses. No farmer will be allowed to remain debtor.”
Continuing his tirade against the Congress, Chouhan asserted: “The roads were in a sorry state. Now, all of them have been repaired under the BJP government. We have paid electricity bills of the poor, made electricity available to everyone and tried to free them from the burden of inflated bills. Yet, Congress gets angry at us. It is because Congress only makes promises but does not fulfill them.”
He further said that the Congress kept on claiming that they removed poverty, but it is the BJP which took concrete steps to eradicate it. Accusing the Congress of being “hungry for power”, Chouhan said that the party’s future looks bleak since they are out of power in most of the states.
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls to elect legislators for its 230 constituencies on November 28. Results will be declared on December 11.
While the BJP is aiming to retain the state for the fourth time, the Congress is in a bid to regain power in the state after 2003.