Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he is confident the BJP will cross the 370 seats mark in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, and even the Opposition leaders in Parliament are saying the ruling coalition will get more than 400 seats.
He was addressing a public meeting of tribal community members in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district. Modi alleged the Congress was anti-tribal and thought of villages, farmers and the poor only during elections.
He said he had got overwhelming love from the people as he visited temples associated with Lord Ram in the South of the country.
Aware of their imminent defeat, the Congress and its allies are resorting to last ditch-tactics, the PM said, adding that “loot and divide” is the motto of the Congress. “The Congress when it is in power indulges in loot, while out of power engineers divisions (in society) based on language, region and caste,” he said here. The Congress has drowned in its own sins and the more it will make efforts to come up the further it will slide down, the PM asserted.
It got decimated in the 2023 (Assembly polls) and will be wiped out in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said. “The people showed the mirror to the Congress in the Assembly polls. The mood of the nation is similar in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” Modi asserted.
The PM asked voters to ensure polling of additional 370 votes in each booth, compared to the last elections, for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to win 370 seats, out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
Even the Opposition leaders in Parliament are now saying “abki baar 400 paar” for the (BJP-led) National Democratic Alliance (NDA), he said. “I am sure the BJP’s lotus symbol will cross the 370-mark on its own,” Modi said.
The PM said he has not come to Jhabua to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, but as the “sevak” to thank the people for their overwhelming support in the recent Assembly elections. The BJP recently won the Assembly polls in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh with a thumping majority.
“Our ‘double engine’ Government is working with double speed in Madhya Pradesh,” he said referring to the Rs 7,550 crore development projects which he launched before addressing the meeting.
Targeting the Opposition, he said, “The Congress remembers villages, the poor and farmers only during elections,” he said. “We have started a campaign against sickle cell anaemia not for votes, but for the health of tribals,” he said.
The Centre last year launched the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Eradication Mission 2047, which aims to address the pressing health challenges posed by the sickle cell disease, particularly among the tribal population.
Jhabua is a tribal dominated district which shares borders with Gujarat and Rajasthan, both BJP-ruled States. Incidentally, out of the 47 Lok Sabha seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes across the nation, six are in Madhya Pradesh, four in Gujarat and three in Rajasthan.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 28 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in MP, including the six reserved for STs, and all 26 in Gujarat and 25 in Rajasthan.
“In the South, women, children and elderly persons have showered countless blessings on me when I visited temples connected to Lord Ram there. I experienced overwhelming blessings,” he added.
Attacking the Congress further, the PM said the party never thought of tribal development or respecting them when it was in power for a long time, and treated them only as vote banks.
“For the BJP, tribals are not a vote bank but the pride and future of the country. Modi guarantees to work for them,” he told the gathering.
Only 100 residential schools were opened for tribal children during Congress rule (till 2014), while the figure has now increased by four times, the PM pointed out. No tribal children will be deprived of education, he said.
Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee set up a Ministry for Tribal Welfare, Modi said, adding, “The Congress did not bother about villages and remained worried about their palaces. Now, local Congress functionaries are asking senior leaders how to go about asking for votes against Modi. They are in trouble.” The Congress is in shambles and in MP is seeing desertions, the PM said.