Accusing Narendra Modi of hijacking the BJP “totally”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday said the country faces the prospects of a dictatorial “one-man regime” if the saffron party’s prime ministerial nominee was allowed a free run.
He said the Congress was “forced” to talk about Modi because it felt he was a “dangerous man” due to his “dictatorial” tendencies.
“The way he has hijacked BJP completely. The way he has sidelined senior leadership, almost virtually overnight. And a one-man or a two-man show that he is trying to run the party with self and Amit Shah, we have seen the danger in this,” Chavan told PTI in an interview here.
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“Therefore, when a man brings in a one-man politics to BJP, the danger is that he will bring the one-man politics to (the country’s) governance also,” he said.
“Therefore, we have to warn the country against the dangers of the man, like how he behaved during the Gujarat riots, about how he misused police authority ostensibly for personal purpose.
“The highest organ of the police system was directed to chase and trail and snoop on an individual. This shows the disregard for norms and propriety. We can imagine the result if such a man is allowed to come to the top,” he said.
“We don’t know how the ‘Gujarat model’ will impact on the policies at the central government level and how a coalition government will be run if at all BJP gets invited to form the new government,” the senior Congress leader said.
Gujarat saw more growth during the earlier Congress regime, Chavan said, adding there was need to debunk Narendra Modi’s claim about the “so-called highest rate of growth” in Gujarat under his rule.
“There was a higher growth rate under the Madhavsinh Solanki-led Congress regime earlier,” Chavan claimed.
“If any state has done better, we should congratulate it. But to use that for political purpose is something else. We never used Maharashtra’s growth story as a political argument in the Gujarat elections,” he said.
Because Modi has nothing else to say, he is talking about the Gujarat model, which is hollow. The FDI which Maharashtra received during last 10 years is 11 times more than what Gujarat got, he said.
“Gujarat has done slightly better in agriculture because we were faced with repeated drought and natural calamities and also because Gujarat has higher percentage of irrigated land,” the chief minister said.
“But to say that the entire development of Gujarat, which is really the product of the Gujarati people, is because of one individual….to say that ‘I did it’, will be a travesty of truth,” he said.
“I salute the Gujarati people. Wherever they have gone they have boosted development, including in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra,” he said.
“Modi has been targeting individuals by making uncharitable remarks. I have not seen a single policy statement or vision for the country except the so-called ‘Gujarat model’,” he said.
“The campaign has now shifted to Modi’s personality. It should have been focused on what Congress has done, which is a great, huge work we have done. But they deliberately shifted the debate from what Congress has done, to the Gujarat model which is vague,” Chavan said.