Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of changing the agenda of the Gujarat elections as he was getting exposed on one issue after another.
At a rally in Harij in Patan district, Gandhi said Modi raised the issue of suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remark about him as the PM had got exposed on other issues like the Narmada water, other backward castes (OBC) and development in 22 years of the BJP rule in the state.
“It is very interesting to see how the truth catches up with the people. Modiji started saying he will contest the election on the issue of Narmada water. It came to notice that the river water did not reach villages and went to the Tata Nano factory,” he claimed.
“After 2-3 days he said he will contest election on the issue of OBCs. Even that did not work,” Gandhi added.
Thereafter, Modi declared he will contest on the basis of 22 years of development. It, too, did not bear fruit.
“After that Modiji says, ‘Mani Sankar Aiyar said a bad thing about me, so this will be my election issue’,” he remarked.
Referring to a report, Gandhi denounced the Modi government for spending “Rs 3,700 crore in advertisements”.
“As per a figure yesterday, the Modi government has spent Rs 3,700 crore in advertisements. So all the money (of this government) is going in building its image and to industrialists,” he said.
“Our government will use that money for your health and education,” the Congress VP said.
Referring to allegations about Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s company turnover and Rafale fighter jet deal, Gandhi said Modi did not raise the issue of corruption in the entire election campaign.
“Modiji cannot escape from Rafale or Jay Shah issues, whatever he may say (in election rallies). Even if he does not talk about corruption in his 200 speeches, the PM cannot escape this. Gujarat has decided that the next goverment will not be of the industrialists, but will be of the poor, farmers, labourers, and small businessmen,” he said.
“The truth has caught up with Modiji. The PM has only one thing left with him. He spoke yesterday and for 60-70 per cent of the time he talked about me. But this election is not about Modiji, Rahulji, Solanki, BJP or Congress, but about the future of the people of Gujarat,” he said.
Gandhi said during canvassing he will focus on 22 years of the BJP rule in the state during which the ruling party “worked for 5-10 industrialists” and “snatched land from farmers to hand over to Tata Nano.”
“The Congress allocated Rs 35,000 crore to MNREGA, while the BJP government gave Rs 33,000 crore to the Tata Nano factory. Water from the Narmada went to that factory. The factory gets electricity for 24 hours even when you get it only at night,” he alleged.
Land from villages in Mundra was given to (Gautam) Adani at Re 1 per metre rate, which the latter sold back to the government for Rs 3,000 per metre, he alleged.
“Last year, the NDA government waived Rs 1.30 lakh crore of loans of the 10 richest people. Farmers also ask for loan waiver, and (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley and the prime minister say it is not their policy,” Gandhi said.
He promised a complete loan waiver to farmers as soon as the Congress formed government in the state.
“I promise that the Congress will get you the right price (for your produce) and will also let you know in advance how much you are going to get,” he said.
Gandhi said a Congress government will also spend money on improving health care facilities and education in the state.
Attacking the government on demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, he alleged the winter session of Parliament was delayed because the PM did not want to answer questions on GST and noteban.