'Had Patel been PM, farmers would not have been ruined'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally ahead of State Assembly elections, in Chhatarpur, Saturday, Nov.24, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again targeted the Nehru-Gandhi family on Saturday, saying farmers would not have been "ruined" had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the country's first prime minister.

Addressing a rally here ahead of the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, he accused the Congress of "making false promises" and asked the opposition party whether late Indira Gandhi's "Garibi Hatao" (remove poverty) slogan a was a "lie" or not.

The prime minister's comments came in the wake of Congress president Rahul Gandhi accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "making false promises" to people during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Modi also referred to a video clip purportedly showing Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, saying the Congress leader seeking votes only from a "particular community" was an insult to democracy.

A video clip surfaced last week, purportedly showing Nath telling Muslim leaders to ensure "90 per cent voting" in Muslim-dominated areas.

Modi also ridiculed "namdaar" Rahul Gandhi, saying the Congress chief was not being taken seriously by his own party.

"Farmers are suffering due to the wrong policies of the Congress governments...the result is that farmers are suffering...now, they (the Congress) are defaming us.

"But the farmers would not have been ruined during the Congress's 55-year-rule had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the country's first prime minister," he said.

The government "remote-controlled by Madam" gave loans to farmers at an interest rate of 15-16 per cent, while the BJP government was giving them interest-free loans, Modi said, in a veiled swipe at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Mandsaur had witnessed intense farmers' protests last year, leading to the death of six protesters in police firing.

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'Had Patel been PM, farmers would not have been ruined'

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