Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for using thousands of crores of black money for election campaigning, the Congress said it does not have as many resources as the BJP. It claimed that the

Gujarat model was that of disaster, while the Congress-led UPA government had led to tremendous progress in a decade. “The use of money and resources by the BJP in these elections is unprecedented. At least Rs. 10,000 crore is being spent by the party to project only one person. As a party which has talked about bringing black money to India, the BJP has shown the trailer in the election campaigning,” Anand Sharma, Union Commerce Minister, said at a press conference here on Saturday.

He claimed that the BJP had obtained more than 80 per cent hoarding corners throughout the country. “They have given advertisements to all the 714 channels, all the major newspapers. Look at the airtime they have consumed. Unless the media organisations have given them the space out of charity, where has all the money come from? They haven’t answered about the source of the money,” he said. He said the BJP manifesto was nothing but “pure political plagiarism”. “Modi’s vision is 5T – tradition, talent, tourism, technology and trade. What is new in it?” he asked.

He criticised Mr. Modi and Amit Shah for “bringing the political discourse of the country to gutter level.” Mr. Sharma claimed that India had galloped towards progress under the UPA rule, despite adverse global economic environment. “In 2004, our Per Capital Income was Rs. 24,000. Today it is Rs. 69,000. Life

expectancy has improved by five years. Our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has quadrupled. Our exports have been multiplied by five times. The FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has gone up by 15 times,” he said. He alleged that the Gujarat model was that of disaster, as the State was not even among the first three to attract FDI. Moreover, it had many deaths due to malnourishment, and was the third most indebted

State, he claimed. “It is a police state. There is no democracy. TV crews, press photographers are not allowed in the assembly, the entire opposition is suspended for most of the session. Mr. Modi has not answered even one single starred question during any session, he hasn’t participated in any debates and discussions. He cannot tolerate anyone questioning him. This is the Gujarat model they want to impose on the entire country,” he said.

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