Modi takes on UPA government over scams, onion price

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday alleged that the Chhattisgarh government has started a “fratricidal war’’ in villages of southern Bastar and “divided’’ the region. The Congress was trying to keep the families together.

“Why have we put the scheme of 100 days work, the MGNREGA…to ensure job security, so that people do not leave their villages, their family…but the BJP has been forcing people to run away from their home,’’ she said. There was need to exploit mineral resources to develop the southern areas of the State, she said the “prosperity of the weaker section of the society is the priority’’ for her party.

The party would increase the minimum support price of paddy from Rs. 1270 to Rs. 2000 a quintal, grant an additional bonus of Rs. 230 a quintal on the existing Rs. 270 to the paddy farmers. She reiterating her party’s promise to give free rice compared to BJPs subsidised grains, costing Re. 1 or Rs. 2 a kg.

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, at an election rally in Kanker, said: “The hand [election symbol of the Congress] that promised so much has been used for looting and now it is time when you have to keep the onions in lockers. The government has brought tears by failing to reduce price of onion and such a government is not pro-poor. And then there are scams … the coal scam, the 2G scam – how many would you accept?’’

In both Jagdalpur and Kanker, Mr. Modi criticised Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for not having able to understand “poverty’’ and Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar for “failing” to provide security during his Patna rally, where serial blasts occurred.

“There was a conspiracy to kill me and other leaders in Patna…there were similar attacks in Chhattisgarh and Raman Singh immediately ordered an investigation…but in Patna, the government was celebrating at Rajgir,’’ Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Gandhi was “fooling’’ people by saying that the food security law was framed by the Congress, when it was engineered by Mr. Raman Singh.

The two leaders were supposed to begin their speeches – Mr. Modi at Jagdalpur and Ms Gandhi at Kondagaon – at different times of the day but somehow both started around mid-day.