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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought the “direct support” of the people of Madhya Pradesh in the upcoming assembly elections and hailed the effort by the state government and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in developing the heartland state over the last two decades.
In an open letter, the prime minister said the double-engine government in the state — a reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being in power both at the Centre and in the state — had made Madhya Pradesh one of the top economies in the country, and accused the Congress of neglecting the state.
To be sure, the BJP has not yet named a chief ministerial candidate for the assembly polls, and has gone into several elections in the past asking for votes in Modi’s name
“I have always had a special bond with Madhya Pradesh, because of which you gave me tremendous affection in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls and helped BJP get unprecedented victory. I firmly believe that you will extend direct support to me in the state assembly elections too in the same manner and once again a double engine government will be formed with your unwavering trust in the BJP,” the PM wrote in the letter.
The BJP won 27 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections and 28 in 2019. The party, which has ruled the state for 18 of the last 20 years, is hoping to retain its government and stave off a challenge from the Congress. The state, with 230 seats, goes to the polls in a single phase on November 17. The results will be declared on December 3.
The Congress called Modi’s letter a “violation of the model code of conduct”.
The letter — which Modi also posted on X — was read out by state unit president VD Sharma at the state BJP office in Bhopal.
In the one-page letter written in Hindi, the PM said Madhya Pradesh had become a strong, prosperous and self-reliant state, shedding its erstwhile tag of Bimaru (a reference to the developmentally backward states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh).
“Who can forget Madhya Pradesh prior to 2003 when basic facilities like power, water and roads were lacking? The trust you have shown in us in the past 20 years has resulted in Madhya Pradesh being included in 10 top economies of the country,” he said, referring to the previous Congress administrations.
“I feel pride in seeing construction of more than 5 lakh km roads, economic growth rate of more than 16%, tap water to more than 65 lakh houses and power generation of 28,000 MW, a result of relentless hard work of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP government,” he wrote
The PM said the Madhya Pradesh’s development was a model of welfare for the poor, women and holistic promotion for the entire country. As a result of this development push, the PM said the state pulled 13.6 million people out of poverty.
“We have worked relentlessly for beloved sisters and beloved Laxmis with the feeling of dedication to welfare for women. Today, farmers, Dalits, tribals and youths have better lives due to various welfare schemes and a better future is looking at them”, he said.
The PM said the BJP government in the state faced many difficulties in public welfare and development due to the step motherly treatment of the Congress-led central government before 2014.
“Today, the entire country is a witness that Madhya Pradesh has developed new capabilities and we together have given a better future to Madhya Pradesh while taking care of our glorious past. This is a result of your and double engine government’s relentless efforts that Madhya Pradesh is moving forward rapidly to be a part of three top economies in the country”, added the PM.
State Congress spokesperson JP Dhanopia said, “Prime Minister’s letter is a violation of elections’ model code of conduct. He can make an appeal to people to vote for his party only when he comes to Madhya Pradesh as a star campaigner of the BJP. We will look into the legal aspect related to the letter and lodge a complaint to the ECI if it’s required.”
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