Soon after Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on his family in their pocket borough Amethi on Monday, Rahul Gandhi hit back saying the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate balked at appointing a RTI Commissioner and Lokayukta in Gujarat for fear of being booked for alleged irregularities in providing benefits to his favourite industrial group.
He also warned the people that a ‘chowkidar’ (security guard) can steal in the ‘darkness of the night’ and, more so, when he is the lone guard.
“Raat ke samay chowkidar chori kar jaate hain (Sometimes even guards steal in the dead of the night). It is likely to happen more so when there is only one guard,” Rahul said Modi, in his addresses, have been telling people that they have chosen rulers in the last 60 years and now they should choose a ‘chowkidar’ who will guard nation’s resources and will not allow its loot.
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Addressing a rally at the Anglo-Bengali Inter-College near Civil Lines in Allahabad, Rahul said, Once the RTI Commissioner and Lokayukta are appointed, “Gujarat ka chowkidar andar ho jaayega (Gujarat’s security guard will be behind bars).” He pointed out that RTI Commissioner was appointed in Gujarat in December 2013 only after court orders and still all 10 commissioners have not been appointed.
Rahul said “the self-proclaimed watchman of Gujarat” has been providing benefits to one favoured industrial group at the cost of farmers.
On Modi’s promise on tackling corruption, Rahul said, “They say, they will use computers to prevent corruption. There is no talk of any legislation. When the UPA government comes in power in 2014, we will take up five bills pending in the Parliament against corruption.”
He also blamed BJP and other opposition parties for stalling the women’s reservation bill.
Taking a swipe on the “politics of anger”, a theme on which Modi dwelt at some length in Amethi, Rahul said: “There is no anger among our people. We talk of love.”
Seeking support for party nominees from Allahabad (Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’) and Phulpur (Mohammamd Kaif), the Rahul reminded people of his family’s roots here. He said, at one time, Allahabad was not only known as the “factory of IAS/ IPS officers”, but also as an industrial place. “But the parties banking on caste and religion-based votes have done nothing in the last 25 years or so You wear T-shirts, watches, mobiles…what is written in the inner label?…Made in China,” he said, adding that even the US President “should one day wear a watch ‘Made in Allahabad, Made in UP”.
The Gandhi scion claimed that the Congress was determined to lift 70 crore people, who were ‘above poverty line’ into the middle class. “Hum aapke bachchon ko angrezi sikhaayenge… school honge, hospital honge…hum aapko bade se bada sapna dikhaayenge (We will teach English to your children… there will be schools…hospitals…we will help you dream the biggest dreams),” he said.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and UP in-charge Madhusudan Mistry, Kaushambi (reserved) candidate Mahendra Kumar Gautam and several other leaders accompanied Rahul.
The campaigning for fifth phase of polls in UP ended today.