Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi speaks during a rally at Balasinor town, some 100km from Ahmedabad.
Balasinor (Gujarat): Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi yesterday lashed out at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said Gujarat was shining not for the poor but only for a handful of “rich industrialists”.
Addressing a rally here, Gandhi alleged that the Modi government had grabbed the land of poor farmers.
“Did anyone get a job? Thousands of acres of land were taken but there is no employment. The below poverty line figure is pegged at Rs.11 in Gujarat but it is being publicised in other regions of the country that Gujarat is shining,” he said.
Gandhi said children were malnourished but the Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that Gujarat is shining.
“Gujarat is indeed shining but only for 10-15 rich industrialists and corporate houses, not for the poor, the women and the youth here,” he said.
Gandhi lashed out at Modi over his government’s move to build a huge statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and said India’s first home minister had spoken adversely about the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“BJP leaders spend most of their life with the RSS but never bother to know what Patelji had said about RSS,” he said.
On Modi’s slogan of a Congress-free India, Gandhi said the BJP did not remember the leaders who had formed the Congress. “It was Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi who made the Congress party. The BJP wants to kill an ideology Gandhiji and Patelji had stood for throughout their lives and now they want to build a statue of Sardar Patel,” he said.
Without naming Modi, Gandhi said there were leaders who believed they were the epitome of knowledge and make big claims.
“There are two types of leaders. One who think people are wise and you can learn from them, like Mahatma Gandhi. Then there is another kind of leader, whose best example is perhaps Hitler. Hitler thought there was no need to go to people and never realised their power. He always thought he was the epitome of knowledge. They just deliver big speeches, make huge claims and make tall promises,” he said.
The Congress leader accused the BJP of dividing people for electoral gain.
He also criticised the Modi government on the issue of corruption, saying that some of its ministers were facing charges of graft. “There was no Lokayukta in Gujarat till the Supreme Court intervened,” he said.