Varanasi, Sep 18 (PTI) Taking a swipe at the 'garibi hatao' campaign of Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said those who could not bring any real change in the lives of the poor or even open bank accounts for them during their five-decade rule were now questioning his government.
The Prime Minister, on his first trip to his Lok Sabha constituency in over eight months, claimed poverty alleviation measures have lacked a proper direction and they are spoken about during election time as a "tradition".
He also took a dig at the critics of his "Jan Dhan Yojana", saying had they helped the poor open bank accounts earlier they would have been spared the worry about operation of the recently opened accounts under the scheme.
"What these people could not do in 50 years, I will do in 50 months, I have come here to tell this," Modi said.
"We have been hearing about 'garibi hatao' for the last 40-50 years. In elections also, we have been hearing about poverty alleviation programmes for poor. It has become a tradition in politics to talk about the poor and their welfare. There is need to come out of this tradition," Modi said.
He said till now all experiments in this regard have not yielded the desired results and "we have not been able to bring the desired changes in the lives of the poor.
"I don't want to blame any government, but want to focus on things that the poor can come out of poverty," Modi said.
The Prime Minister wondered why none of the educated ever questioned any politician in the past as to why bank accounts were not opened for the poor.
"Banks were nationalised in the country 25 years ago, but it did not help the poor to gain access to these financial institutions.