Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said in Jharkhand that the Congress treats farmers as a vote bank, but the Bharatiya Janata Party considers them as “annadata” or providers of food. Later in Odisha, he took a jibe at the Congress, saying “thieves plot to remove the chowkidaar [security guard, a reference to himself]”.

Modi was in Jharkhand to lay the foundation stone of six irrigation projects in Palamu district. The projects included Rs 2,391.36 crore for the Mandal dam that will irrigate 19,604 hectares in Palamu and Garhwa districts. He said the delay in completing the Mandal dam project was proof that previous governments did not work for welfare of farmers.

“This is the difference between Congress and BJP,” he said at the event. “There wouldn’t have been a need for farmers to take loans had the previous Congress governments completed the projects that were meant to benefit farmers.”

“First they forced farmers to take loans, now they’re misleading them in the name of loan waivers,” he said, referring to Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh waiving farm loans.

Modi handed over keys of houses to five beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, according to PTI. “The UPA [United Progressive Alliance] would need another 25 years to match up to the number of houses we have built,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Modi said that unlike previous government the housing scheme was not named after any particular prime minister. “We didn’t make Narendra Modi Awas Yojana, we didn’t make NaMo Awas Yojana, we didn’t make Raghubar Das Awas Yojana, we made Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana so that the next PM can take the work forward,” he said.

Thieves plot to remove security guard, says PM Modi in Odisha

At a rally in Odisha’s Baripada, Modi accused the Opposition party of working for middlemen in the defence sector during the previous United Progressive Alliance regime.

The prime minister was purportedly referring to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman who is being investigated in the AgustaWestland case. “I cannot understand whether the Congress was running a government or the durbar of its own [Christian] Michel mama (uncle).”

“Therefore, they want to remove the chowkidar [watchman] from their path at any cost,” Modi said. “Be it society or factories, thieves always try and conspire to remove the chowkidar to make their task easy. As long as the chowkidar remains, they are unable to operate.”

On Friday, Modi had visited Silchar in Assam and inaugurated eight projects and laid the foundation stones of four schemes in Manipur.