Central Congress leaders said on Saturday that the “dreams of some opposition leaders for a Congress-mukta (Congress-free) India can never be realised as the party lives in the heart and mind of the people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari”.
Addressing a public meeting before kick-starting a 23-day-long “Vikas Khoj Yatra” by the Gujarat Pradesh Youth Congress (GPYC) from here, Union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia said that “Congress lives in the heart and mind of the people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and hence, a Congress-mukta India dream of some people can never be realised”.
Without naming Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had been repeatedly speaking of a “Congress-mukta” India, the minister said that using phrases like “Congress-mukta Bharat” by the leader of a rival political party only indicated party’s “narrow mindset”.
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Pointing out that securing political power was never the target of the Congress, but only a mean to serve the people of the country, the minister hailing from neighbouring MP, said, “Congress won freedom for the country, made Pakistan to kneel before India in 1971, gave ‘Jai jawan, Jai kisan’ slogan that made India self-dependent in foodgrains production and worked for uplift of the poor.”
With reference to Modi’s claim of development, he asked, “Under whose regime was Amul set up bringing White Revolution and making India self-dependent in milk requirements? Who set up fertiliser manufacturing companies in Gujarat that contributed to increase in agriculture production and under whom did Gujarat get the title of being textile capital of the country?”
Scindia said that it all happened during Congress rule. But now under Modi rule, textile and diamond workers had become jobless.
He said that duty on power in Gujarat was 20 per cent against just 2 to 3 per cent in other states and this was the reason for high power tariff charged from consumers in the state.
Scindia also said that state’s annual GDP was 16 per cent in 1985-95 during Congress rule and it came down to 8.5 per cent under Modi rule now. “Is this an achievement of Modi?” he asked.
Alleging that it was the habit of BJP leaders to speak lies, especially when elections approached, he said that they raised the Ram temple issue on the eve of every election but dumped it once the elections were over.
He said that the next Lok Sabha elections would be between an ideology of “communal harmony” represented by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and “divisive and narrow-minded” ideology of BJP.
Indian Youth Congress president Rajiv Satav, addressing the meeting, made fun of Modi by saying that while Modi wanted to build a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, his government had no money for repair of the school where Sardar Patel studied.
“It is because of the misdeeds of Modi that several IPS officers are today in jail in Gujarat,” alleged Satav.
The “padyatra” that started from Ahmedabada on Saturday would end at Bardoli on February 23. Aimed at mobilising youths in favour of the Congress in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the padyatra will cover seven Lok Sabha constituencies and 33 Assembly constituencies in central and south Gujarat regions.