Taking on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on his home turf, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, addressing a rally at Kheralu village in Mehsana constituency on Thursday, mounted a sharp attack on the Gujarat model and questioned the measures the BJP had taken to tackle corruption.
The much-publicised Gujarat model was a picture of malnourishment and poverty, she said, adding that water scarcity plagued many villages in Gujarat, unemployment rate was high, lands were doled out to industrialists at throwaway prices and violence against women was on the rise. “God save the country from such a model.”.
In a speech laced with sarcasm, Ms. Gandhi countered criticism levelled at the UPA. “The Chief Minister is saying everywhere the Congress has not done anything. The dams, healthcare infrastructure, white revolution, industrial development, did all this fall from the sky? Did it all happen magically? It is all a result of Congress policies. Did the BJP start irrigation schemes? Who gave Rs. 70,000 loan waiver for farmers? But the problem is some just can't see others’ strengths and their own flaws.”
Hitting back at the BJP for attacking her son-in-law Robert Vadra over corruption allegations, Ms. Gandhi said: “I want to challenge the BJP governments to show what measures they have taken in Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. The Congress gave a strong tool of Right to Information Act.” Why was the Lokayukta post lay vacant for the past 10 years in Gujarat, and why tainted ministers were still part of the State Assembly, she asked.
Rebutting Mr. Modi’s criticism of her party, Ms. Gandhi said the BJP “has a single point agenda of making false accusations against the Congress. It has crossed all limits in attacking the Congress.”Earlier, Ms. Gandhi addressed a rally in Valsad.