Rajnandgaon: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said only BJP had challenged the prevailing vote-bank politics in the country.

At a rally in Rajnandgaon, the Assembly constituency of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Modi said before BJP came to power in December 2003, there was no growth in this mineral-rich state.

"The country has witnessed vote-bank politics for fifty years. After gaining power through vote-bank politics, leaders subsequently promoted it further. BJP is the only party which has challenged this approach through development-based politics," Modi said.

"When Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh split, both were under Congress rule. But no growth came to Chhattisgarh in the three years that followed. People of the state chose wisely and rejected Congress," he said.

Modi was speaking at the conclusion of second phase of 'Vikas Yatra', a campaign run by Raman Singh in the poll-bound state to inform people about the achievements of his government in the last nine-and-half years. Assembly elections are due this year-end.

Showering praise on his Chhattisgarh counterpart, Modi said there were some Chief Ministers who had to cancel visits in their own states because of the crowds which showed black flags and pelted stones but Raman Singh had served his people with utmost dedication for 10 years and therefore always got a warm welcome.

He said Congress introduced the slogan 'garibi hatao' 40 years ago but it led to nothing. The party cannot be allowed to keep "ruining" the country.


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