Says the ruling party has failed in its constitutional duties

Taking on the Congress over its claim that is pro-poor, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday said making laws were not enough, with poverty and illiteracy in the country showing it had failed in its constitutional duties, thereby “destroying” the nation during its nearly six-decade rule.

“When Babashaeb Bhimrao Ambedkar made the Constitution, was it to keep the people of the nation poor or to keep them illiterate? The Congress has not fulfilled its Constitutional duties and responsibilities and has destroyed the country in the last 60 years.”

“If a gun licence instead of a gun is shown to a lion, he is not going to get scared. In the same way just making laws for poor is not enough, their implementation is also required,” Mr. Modi said at rallies in Rajasthan, which goes to the polls on December 1. Mr. Modi said that at a rally in Sikar on Wednesday Ms. Gandhi claimed that several laws were made for the poor.

He also hit back at Ms. Gandhi for asking where the Opposition in the State was for the last five years when her party was working for development. “Madam, just as the nation is trying to find out where the Central government is, we and the people of Rajasthan are also looking for the Congress government in the State. For five years we were searching the government of Rajasthan with microscope.”

Mr. Modi slammed the Congress’s handling of the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation issue and said its governments were not visible either at the Centre or in Rajasthan. He said people in Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which were carved out from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, were happy. “But the way Congress is dividing Andhra Pradesh is hurting people. Both Telangana and Seemandra are burning. The party can damage the country and you need to recognise it.”

Dubbing the Congress as a “poisonous party,” and said Ms. Gandhi had himself told her son that “power is poison.” “They ruled for most of the time post independence, so who has tasted the poison of power? It is Congress which is poisonous and spreading it.”

In his address at the Patel stadium in Ajmer he attacked the Ashok Gehlot government over “more than 40 [communal] clashes” under its rule. Mr. Gehlot, he said, had not only lost the confidence of his party high command but “even Supreme Court, Rajasthan High court and Governor have criticised the functioning of the State.” He said it was apparent that the Chief Minister had lost confidence of his party high command when Rahul Gandhi chose to visit Gopalgarh without him after the firing incident in Bharatpur in 2011.

“They fear what will happen to Congress if the country becomes free from communalism, casteism. They do not hesitate from engaging two brothers or two states in confrontation, they work on divide and rule policy,” he said, and went on to blame the Congress for the Partition.