'Modi-Adani partnership cornered Gujarat’s resources,' says the Congress vice-president

Launching a sharp attack on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the Gujarat Chief minister of working “in partnership” with the Adani Group to corner Gujarat’s resources and claiming credit for the sweat and toil of the people.

He said granting 33 per cent women’s reservation in the Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha will be the Congress’ priority if it comes to power, in addition to right to healthcare and shelter for the poor.

“Mr. Modi and Mr. Adani’s partnership is all there is [to the BJP]. Everyone else, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Yaswant Sinha, Sushma Swaraj, have been distanced. Mr. Modi gave 45,000 acres of land of farmers and labourers to Mr. Adani at the rate of Re. 1 per metre. Mr. Modi gave Rs. 26,000 crore worth power contracts to the company, whose fortunes grew from Rs. 3,000 crore to Rs. 40,000 crore. That is ten times bigger than the Gujarat government’s budget on health and education. He gave your money and power to one industrialist, but did he give you jobs? The poor find employment through the Nation Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, funded by the UPA. At Re. 1, one can only get a toffee, but Mr. Modi gives land,” Mr. Gandhi said at a rally in Amreli district of Guajarat.

He said the “Gujarat model” signified concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few. The “Congress’ model” on the other hand was of inclusive growth and benefits for all irrespective of caste, regions or class.

Rakes up snoopgate

Raking up the snoopgate issue, Mr. Gandhi attacked Mr. Modi’s claims of women’s empowerment. “Mr. Modi gave his life to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, whose ideologue MS Golwalkar, had said granting voting rights for women was India’s biggest mistake. Mr. Modi’s posters claim to give ‘shakti’ [strength to women]. But on the other hand the Gujarat police are asked to snoop on a woman. Women are already strong. They don’t need strength. They need to be given respect. The Congress wants to harness women’s power. Granting 33 per cent reservations to them in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha will be our first priority on coming to power. The BJP opposed us when we tabled the Women’s Reservation Bill,” the Congress vice-president said.