Union Minister Anand Sharma launched an attack on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Saturday. He said bringing Modi to the forefront portrayed the bankruptcy of the BJP. He said the Gujarat model being harped upon was a disaster.
Addressing a press conference in the city Sharma said Modi was arrogant and intolerant and never answered any questions. He went on to say that Modi was never known for humility or truthfulness and his only aim was to snatch power. “No one has ever seen him laugh. He always has an expression of contempt. He had a hit list and has led to dwarfing of senior leaders like Advani and Jaswant Singh,” said Sharma.
Sharma said that incidents over the past few days show that BJP has not given up its communal ideology, even though the party claims to be focussing on development. He added that the projection of one man above his party, the society and even the country posed a grave danger to democracy.
Sharma said, “India has never accepted any arrogant person. I can assure you Congress is stronger in north India.”
Referring to the Gujarat model, Sharma attacked Modi for making false announcements. The state had highest number of drop outs from schools, low per capita income, poor sanitation facilities and was the third highest debt ridden state after West Bengal and UP. When Modi took over as chief minister of Gujarat, its debt was Rs 45,000 crore, which has now gone up to Rs 1.38 lakh crore, he said.
Talking about the recent meeting between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with the Shahi Imam, Sharma said the party was secular and not atheist. “During elections, meetings are held with people from all religions. Leaders have every right to meet anyone,” he said.
Sharma said the BJP was indulging in false propaganda and unlike their claims, the Indian economy was robust and in the right hands. Sharma said that during the Congress-led UPA government’s reign, investors faith in India had increased. Sharma said this was because the government was transparent and took initiatives for legal and regulatory framework.
Sharma said the government should be given due credit for industrialisation. The National Development Policy had been approved for growth of industrial sector. The policy was aimed at enhancing the share of industry in GDP to over 25 percent from 16 percent. Sharma also said that under the National Industrial Policy, 16 major cities had been notified to be developed as integral industrial cities. Eight of these are on the Delhi-Mumbai Corridor.
Later in the day, Sharma addressed a public meeting in Sector 19. Taking a dig at candidates of other parties, he said politics was not a place for entertainment. It is serious business, he said. He further said one of the candidates in the fray was from a party that believes in populism bordering on anarchy. He added that people who are anti-system cannot run a government.
Among those present was comedian Khayyali, who took took several digs at Yoga guru Baba Ramdev.