Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday termed Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s claim of ending poverty as “misleading” for votes and said India can easily eradicate poverty if it becomes “Congress-Mukt”. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Assembly Election 2021: AIADMK, DMK Continue Seat-sharing Talks, Fate of Sasikala to be Decided

Singh reminded of grand old party’s call for “garibi hatao” which merely remained a slogan as Congress governments during five decades of its rule after Independence did not take concrete steps to eradicate poverty. Also Read - Delhi MCD Election Results 2021 Updates: AAP Wins 4 Seats, Congress 1; Kejriwal, Sisodia Laud Victory

He claimed the BJP-led NDA government has been able to take 7.5 crore people above poverty line and the status of remaining five crore people will also be elevated in the coming five years. Also Read - Prominent Leaders Take First COVID Jab on 2nd Day, Govt Allows Private Hospitals to Give Vaccines | Key Points

The senior BJP leader was addressing a series of election meetings in Odisha’s Jajpur, Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituencies where polling is scheduled to be held along with state assembly elections in the fourth phase on April 29.

“Congress has ruled the country for five decades, but India still fights poverty. The ‘garibi hatao’ call only remained a slogan as Congress governments failed to take any concrete step to eradicate poverty,” the home minister said.

Hitting out at Gandhi for promising to make India poverty free, Singh said “his tall claims are aimed at misleading people for votes”.

“The fact is… the country can actually overcome poverty if it becomes ‘Congress-Mukt’,” the BJP stalwart said.

Gandhi has announced NYAY scheme under which 20 per cent families in the poorest of the poor category will be given Rs 6000 per month which will total to Rs 72,000 annually as a minimum income.

The Congress chief has claimed that five crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from the scheme which he termed as a final assault to eradicate poverty in the country.

The union minister also came down heavily on Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha accusing it of failing to develop the state during its 19 years of rule.

Singh alleged that the basic requirements of the people have not been fulfilled as the BJD government has no intention to develop the state.

“The BJD government denied justice to the people of Odisha by not implementing the Ayushman Bharat and several other welfare schemes of the central government,” he said.

Stating that Ayushman Bharat Yojana has been implemented in other states, Singh said poor people of Odisha are being deprived of the benefits of the National Health Protection Mission because of BJD government’s apathy.

At the same time, the BJP leader appealed to the people to give five years to BJP for speedy and balanced development of Odisha which, he said will be transformed into the number one state of the country.

Singh also drew attention of the people to the importance of national security by mentioning about the air strike carried out by India inside Pakistan after Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans.

“The Modi government has given fitting reply to Pakistan and terrorists. The country is secure under Modi’s leadership,” the union home minister said.

He also highlighted the BJP’s manifesto and said all the people in the country will have pucca houses, cooking gas connection and electricity by 2022.

While ensuring safety and security of the country, the Modi government has also elevated India’s status across the globe by making development on the economic front.

“Within just four years, India’s economy has grown and the country moved from 9th to 6th place in top order. By 2030-32, India will be among the top three countries in the world,” he said.