Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the Congress opposed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s policies “just for the sake of opposing us”, ANI reported. The prime minister said at a rally in poll-bound Gujarat’s Bharuch city that the Congress had opposed the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project because the party could not take the initiative forward and was envious of the Bharatiya Janata Party for doing so.

“Seventy years have passed in dynasty politics,” said Modi, according to the Hindustan Times. “Now the country is moving forward and the Congress cannot stop it.”

The prime minister also claimed that the law and order situation in Bharuch was poor when Congress was in power in Gujarat. “Curfews and violence were common here. BJP changed this, not only in Bharuch but all over Gujarat.”

Modi said that the Congress made “one caste fight with the other, one religion fight with another”, during its rule in Gujarat, PTI reported.

He said that the Sardar Vallabbhai Patel statue would be the tallest in the world. “Just as the world goes to see the Statue of Liberty [in the United States], people will flock to see the Statue of Unity in two years and Bharuch’s tourism will grow.”

The prime minister also claimed that the BJP government in Gujarat had done its best to give land rights to adivasis. “Due to the BJP government’s work, the state’s milk production increased three-fold. Gujarat is also number one in the fishing industry today,” he added.

Modi mocks Congress’ internal polls, asks it to practice democracy

At a rally in Surendranagar, Modi called the Congress’ internal polling process undemocratic. The Congress is supposed to elect its president on December 16 while the results will be announced on December 19. Rahul Gandhi is expected to take over the party’s reins from Sonia Gandhi. “If you don’t have democracy at your own home (party), how can you practise it in the country?” said Modi.

In Ahmedabad, Modi said that it was “nationalism” that enabled the government to get back Kerala priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil to India after he was kidnapped by Islamic State group militants in Yemen. He also cited the examples of Father Prem Kumar and aid worker Judith D’Souza, who returned after being abducted in Afghanistan.

“Those who are issuing fatwas against nationalists should see the effort we undertook to get Father Tom back,” Modi said, criticising the Opposition in a veiled manner. He also praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. “Guided by humanitarian values, she is serving so many people in need – in any part of the world,” the prime minister said.

About healthcare in Gujarat, Modi said the BJP government had made stents cheaper. The prime minister said the state government’s priority was to improve health infrastructure and boost innovation in the sector.

The Gujarat Assembly elections will be held on December 9 and 14, and the results announced on December 18.