The Congress vice-president said that the so-called Gujarat model has benefited only one industrialist in the state, ignoring the interests of the farmers and the poor
The balloon of “Gujarat Shining” will burst when workers and farmers press the button on the electronic voting machine, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi claimed on Monday.
Addressing a public meeting in Latur, Mr. Gandhi launched a 360-degree attack on the “Gujarat model” and the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, accusing him of being a master marketer.
Terming the “Gujarat model” a “toffee model,” the Congress leader accused Mr. Modi of providing a parcel of land as large as Aurangabad city to industrialist (Gautam) Adani for Re. 1 a square metre.
Even a toffee cost Re. 1, Mr. Gandhi said, implying that the price of land and toffee was the same in Gujarat. Ten years ago Mr. Adani’s assets stood at Rs. 3,000 crore, but today they amounted to Rs. 40,000 crore.
The people’s lands had contributed to swelling Mr. Adani’s coffers, the Congress leader alleged. Reeling off statistics, Mr. Gandhi claimed that one out of every two children in Gujarat was malnourished.
Targeting Mr. Modi’s corporate connections, he attacked the BJP leader for sidelining his senior colleagues L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh.
“The BJP had a leader called L.K. Advani,” Mr. Gandhi said, adding there was a time the BJP had the Vajpayee-Advani partnership, but today it was the Modi-Adani partnership.
The Congress leader made a special effort to project the BJP and Mr. Modi in poor light when it came to women’s issues.
While the Gujarat Chief Minister had asked his police to tap a woman’s phone and follow her around, the BJP in Karnataka had attacked women visiting pubs. In Chhattisgarh, Mr. Gandhi alleged, 20,000 women were missing.
Reiterating his call for a partnership between the “poor and industrialists,” the Congress vice-president said the BJP had taken the Congress party’s manifesto, rubbed out the hand symbol and replaced it with the lotus.
One man, Mr. Modi, knew everything about everything. “He knows about America, Japan, China and Latur.”
Interestingly, Mr. Gandhi said all corruption scandals in the country had come tumbling out due to the Right to Information law, which had been brought by the UPA.