‘Gujarat has become a virtual sell-out to Adanis and Ambanis’

Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday tore into Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s claims of development and said the State had become a virtual sell-out to the Adanis and the Ambanis.

“The Adanis and the Ambanis have been given lands for Re. 1 at places where market prices were Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. What development is Mr. Modi speaking about across the country,” he asked at a meeting in the labour- dominated Bapunagar here.

He wanted to meet Mr. Modi on Friday “but 5 km from his house I was shooed away by his security personnel. “Why is Mr. Modi so scared of me? There is no difference between him and [Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law] Robert Vadra.”

Mr. Kejriwal, who addressed his first huge public gathering, received a big response when he questioned Mr. Modi claims. “There are doctor vacancies in government hospitals, as also of teachers in schools. What is Mr. Modi calling himself?”

Some slogan-shouting BJP supporters threw stones at him and the police resorted to a baton charge to disperse them.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kejriwal visited Gandhi Ashram and spun yarn there.

In the afternoon, his tour through nine police station areas of the crowded parts of Ahmedabad got a big welcome at several places, including Maninagar, which Mr. Modi represents in the Assembly. As he waved to the crowds that lined the roads, many responded enthusiastically. Muslim women garlanded him at many places near Amraiwadi.

At the public meeting, Mr. Kejriwal said there was rampant corruption in the Gujarat government at all levels, be it appointment of talatis or teachers. He alleged that 7,000 small-scale units had closed down in the past some years, but the government was more concerned about the big corporate houses. “You want a Prime Minister who obliges corporate houses and victimises the common people?” he asked the cheering audience in Hindi.

The AAP alleged that the government was virtually snatching away fertile lands from farmers for its pro-industry bias. “Narendra Modi is lying through his teeth when he is depriving people of their land to favour industry houses. Five lakh farmers have been cheated to favour the Adanis and the Tatas,” he said to huge applause from the public during his one-hour address.