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Congress disgracing nation: PM
March 18, 2004 17:48 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday accused the Congress of "disgracing" the nation for the sake of gaining power.
"Congress has claimed that our coalition government has ruined the country," he said at an election meeting in Patiala, Punjab. "How have we ruined the country? Are rapid progress in agriculture, industrial growth, touching new horizons in science and technology, making primary education compulsory for children and increasing medical facility signs of ruining the country?" he asked.
The Congress, he said, has not been able to accept defeat in elections. "We also fought election but never have we tried to disgrace the nation."
The green revolution has made the country surplus in food grain and reversed its dependence on imports, he said. "Today we are exporting food grain to various countries."
Vajpayee said his government wants a second green revolution and for this a Rs 50,000 crore policy is being formed to double the per capita income of farmers by 2011.
"We are setting up 48 export units in 14 states with an investment of Rs 1,325 crore that will facilitate Rs 10,300 crore worth of additional exports," Vajpayee said.
He said some farmers committed suicide in Congress-ruled states, which were provided sufficient food grains by the Centre.
Vajpayee, addressing his first election meeting in Punjab, said the Bharatiya Janata Party's alliance with Shiromani Akali Dal was not for power but to give an alternative to the Congress. "People who used to criticise coalitions are today running barefoot seeking alliances."
He said, "The Congress lost elections but did not accept defeat. It did not want to sit in Opposition and serve the nation. We were in Opposition for 40 years but never took any wrong step."
He said the Congress without power "is like a fish out of water".