On day 9 of his campaign, after having rallied in Sundargarh and Sonepur in Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the Balod district in Chhattisgarh where he launched several attacks against Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his party.
Starting on the national security front, he wasted little time in highlighting to the packed audience that the Congress had taken an obtuse stance with respect to the armed forces, especially in light of the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack:
"I want to say to Congress, you are making the country's 'Jawans' - weaponless, but why don't you come out of the security cover you're living with?"
He went on to say, "Should the anti-national forces be supported and helped, or the ones who are serving and protecting the country? It is this mindset of Congress that has infuriated the nation today. And I can see that this large chunk of people that have come here, are not only here to represent their love for me, but also the anger they have in them against the anti-national forces. I can very well understand your anger. It's this mood in Chattisgarh that has shaken the party from its very core."
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest not only from his bastion Amethi but also from Wayanad in Kerala, PM Modi said:
"I have just come from Odhisa. There the Congress is running helter-skelter to find constituencies for themselves. In Telangana, there is a lock on the door the Congress leaders. And Naamdaar (Rahul Gandhi) had taken his seat to be a part and parcel of his heritage (Amethi) now he had to migrate from that to somewhere else (Wayanad)."
He took on the Gandhi family over the National Herald case and the Agusta Westland case:
"Can you imagine the disappointment? Just when the stage is being set for the elections, they are running away from the ground beforehand. When Congress' Naamdar was looking for the safest seat for himself, the situation is not that difficult to understand. This situation arose only because there is a fundamental problem in their intentions. This is why they have created this web of middlemen and scamsters. Which is why even in the purchase of a helicopter, they couldn't stay away from dalali. It's their wrong intentions. And look today, Naamdar's Congress family is on a trial."
He spoke about the vaunted place the Congress first family had given itself:
"Did anybody think 5 years ago, that the family which used to roam around with a lion-like persona, wanting to run the country on their remote, will be out on bail like this? It's their defective intentions that led them to promise loan-waivers. You all tell me, have the loans been waived of all the Chhattisgarh farmers here? Did Congress live up to the promises he made to the youth in the state?
Referring to the Congress's 'Hum Nibhayenge' manifesto, he said,
"In every election, Congress comes out with their 'Dhakosla' (Deceiving) manifesto, to cheat the people. Even in the Assembly elecitons of Chhattisgarh, Congress did the same. Congress is not for the welfare of the poor and farmers. Congress is only for cashing-in on schemes created in the name of poor people. That is their main agenda."
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Odisha will be held in four phases - April 11, 18, 23 and 29. In Chhattisgarh, the elections will happen in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23. The counting of votes will be on May 23.