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Nehru-Gandhi Clan Did Nothing to Remove Poverty From Country, Says Nitin Gadkari

File photo of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

File photo of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The BJP leader said only BJP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is working to eradicate poverty.

Nagpur: Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his generations have merely done a lip service to the cause of poverty.

Addressing a public rally in Nagpur on the concluding day of the national convention of his party's scheduled Caste (SC) cell, Gadkari said only BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working to eradicate poverty.

"Jawaharlal Nehru had talked about removing poverty. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi also talked about poverty eradication, so did late Rajiv Gandhi (a former PM) and Sonia Gandhi. Now the great grandson of Nehruji (Rahul Gandhi) is also giving the slogan of 'Garibi hatao'. (I want to ask) whose poverty has been alleviated?" Gadkari said without taking the name of Rahul, the incumbent president of Congress.

Praising welfare schemes of the Modi government, the Highways and Road Transport Minister said 18 per cent of population have received electricity under the Bhagyashree Yojna for the first time while six crore poor people have got cooking gas connections.

Gadkari also hailed Ayushman Bharat scheme, under which the poor people get health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh. Suggesting that people of backward castes have been benefitted under welfare schemes, Gadkari dared the critics to conduct an audit of the socio-economic impact of the plans.

"Such audit will reveal which section of the society received benefits under each welfare scheme, and bring out the truth," he added.

Meanwhile, some people raised slogans for a separate Vidarbha state and hurled pamphlets in the media section when Gadkari started speaking at the rally.

Downplaying the incident, Gadkari, who represents Nagpur Lok Sabha seat, said Congress might have sent these people who are only interested in show-off.

Police personnel at the spot whisked away the agitators. Proponents of separate Vidarbha, a region in east Maharashtra, have been demanding carving out a separate state claiming that the region remained backward on various parameters due to injustice meted out to it by successive governments.