‘What is shining are the bungalows of industrialists, not the lives of common people’

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, without naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, launched a blistering attack, comparing Mr. Modi to Adolf Hitler and mocking him by saying the country does not need a chowkidar (watchman).

Speaking at public meeting here on Tuesday, the Congress leader hinted at Mr. Modi when he said: “Adolf Hitler thought people had no knowledge and he himself knew everything.” Hitler was another leader who only spoke of himself and made tall claims, Mr. Gandhi said.

“A true leader does not lecture his people but goes among them and listens to them. A true leader, like Mahatma Gandhi, does not have any ghamand (arrogance),” the Congress leader said.

Lambasting the BJP leader, he said what was happening in Gujarat was chori as land belonging to farmers were being snatched for select industrial houses.

Mr. Gandhi said tall claims were being made about Gujarat’s development and asked “what is shining here?”

To a loud applause, he said, “What is shining are the bungalows of some industrialists, their aircraft, their cars, not the lives of common people.”

Fertile lands of farmers were being taken away to distribute among select industries. “You call this chowkidari? This is chori.”

In an aggressive speech, he asked the audience if they could see many youngsters with jobs. The response from the crowd was an emphatic “no”. “Can you see many Nanos being driven around?” he asked, taunting the Gujarat Government for the sops it had given to Tata Motors for its plant near Ahmedabad.

He said the BJP talked of tackling corruption but three Ministers in Gujarat have been in and out of jail but none had been removed so far. “Even the Lokayukta was appointed in the State after the court’s orders,” the Congress leader said.

It was the Congress that was brought up and nurtured by Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, which gave the country the Right to Information Act, the National Food Security Act and the Lokpal. The BJP did not give anything, on the contrary, it opposed everything, he said.

“After some years, they may take credit for all this as well as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi asserted that they were trying to “usurp the legacy of Gandhi and Sardar” by planning to build a statue of Sardar Patel. “They may build the statue, fine, but they should first read at least 10-12 pages of history about what Sardar Patel said about the RSS. He had said the RSS had venomous ideology and these people grew up within this very organisation,” Mr. Gandhi said.