Koppal (Karnataka), May 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying one who is born with a golden spoon would never understand the difficulties of the poor and importance of Swachh Bharat campaign.
“When I had spoken about Swachh Bharat and building toilets from the Red Fort, the ‘Naamdaars’ mocked me. Those who are born with a golden spoon never understand the difficulties of the poor. We are committed to serve the poor and would continue to do so,” he said.
Addressing a public meeting, Modi talked about a small girl from Koppal district, Mallamma, who resorted to hunger strike for a toilet in her house — about whom he had talked in his Mann Ki Baat in 2016 — and had thus boosted the Swachh Bharat campaign in the country.
“I am happy that lakhs of our daughters like Mallamma have showed the path to the entire country,” said Modi, adding that toilet is not just a facility but is closely associated with the dignity of women who either used to wait for the sunset or relieve themselves before sunrise.
“The toilet coverage in the country before 2014 was only 40 per cent but after four years of hard work by our government and efforts put in by our daughters like Mallamma, we have raised the coverage to 80 per cent of the homes across the country.”
Modi said the BJP believes in “Rashtra Bhakti” and serving the society unlike the Congress whose only concern is one family. He was hinting at the Gandhi family that has given three Prime Ministers since Independence with Rahul Gandhi being the fourth generation running for the post in 2019.
“Our only mantra is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’. But for the Congress party, benefit of only one family means everything. They run a government and bring down a government for the family. They can go to any extent — divide brothers and country — to come to power.”
The Prime Minister said former BJP Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, started a campaign for the state’s development but the moment the Congress government came in, it stopped all the works started by him and began giving priority to people on caste basis.
“After May 15, when Yeddyurappa forms the government in Karnataka, he will spread a network of cooperatives in the state that would give loans to women at one per cent interest rate up to Rs 2 lakh,” Modi said as he listed down other plans to support girls, farmers and tourism.