With only two days to go for the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a public rally on Friday, attacking Congress for supporting Maoists.
"Urban Maoists live in AC surroundings, move around in big cars and their children study abroad, but they ruin the lives of our poor Adivasi youth here through remote control. Why is Congress supporting these Urban Maoists?," said Modi.
"I urge the people of Bastar to teach a fitting lesson to the Congress leaders, who on one hand try to shield the urban Maoists, and in Chhattisgarh, they speak about freeing the state from Maoists," he added.
"For 10 years, Congress was at the Centre, but they never paid attention to the needs of Chhattisgarh and blocked all development for the state," he said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also addressed his first rally in Pakhanjore town of Kanker district, followed by public meetings in Rajnandgaon district's Khairgarh and Dongargarh towns, and a roadshow in Rajnandgaon said the head of Congress state communication wing Shailesh Nitin Trivedi.
Attacking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over Rafale deal and Demonetisation, Gandhi said, "All of you were standing in long queues during demonetisation but not one black money holder was seen. Also, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi ran away from the country with your money.” The Congress leader also attacked the government over the rising fuel prices."
Raman Singh is also scheduled to hold a roadshow in Rajnandgaon today evening. He is pitted against the Congress's Karuna Shukla, niece of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The campaigning for the first phase will end Saturday.
The first phase on November 12 will see 18 seats of eight Naxal-affected districts go to polls. Of these, 12 are Scheduled Tribe seats while one is a Scheduled Caste-reserved seat.
The ruling BJP had lost 12 of the 18 seats in the 2013 Assembly polls.
The remaining 72 constituencies will witness polling on November 20 and counting of votes will be held on December 11.
A total of1,291 candidates are in the fray for the two-phased state polls.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 49 seats, Congress 39, BSP 1 and Independent 1 in the 90-member House.