Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appreciated the people of Bastar in Chhattisgarh for turning out in large numbers to vote in the first phase of polling, despite targeted attacks by the Naxals.

The turnout in the first phase of Chhattisgarh polls in 18 seats on November 12 was recorded at 76.28 per cent, as compared to 75.79 per cent in the 2013 polls.

Addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur, PM Modi further urged the people to register an even higher voting percentage than Bastar in the second phase of polling on November 20 to give an answer to those creating violence.

He said by improving the voting percentage, the people of Chhattisgarh have proved the strength of Indian democracy even in harsh conditions.

Shifting his focus to the opposition Congress, PM accused the party of disregarding Ambikapur and said the Congress will be ousted from the state after the election.

He further said the Congress had not yet come to terms with the fact that a ‘Chaiwala’ had become the Prime Minister of the country.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had earlier said that India has a tea-seller as its prime minister today because of the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru.

Modi, in his speech, challenged the Congress to allow a good leader of the party outside of the Gandhi family to become the party president for five years. He said then only will he agree that Nehru had really created a truly democratic system within the Congress.

Recalling how former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had peacefully divided and created the two states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he took the opportunity to accuse the Congress of creating a mess during the formation of Telangana.

Assuring a wave of development and progress under the BJP rule, PM Modi said the saffron party was the only party that took forward the mantra ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ in the country without any form of discrimination.

The second phase of polling in 72 seats, out of the 90-member Assembly, would be held on November 20 and counting of votes would take place on December 11.