Addressing a poll rally here Sunday afternoon, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made pointed attacks on Narendra Modi, calling him “ek aadmi” repeatedly without taking his name.
“There is one person who spoke about Gujarat in different parts of the country. He feels he has created Gujarat. It is not true,” Rahul said, adding that every section of the society, from Dalits and tribals to women and small businessmen, had made the state what it is.
On the contrary, Rahul said, he never talked about himself, but “about women and youth”. He would get the women’s reservation Bill passed in Parliament, he promised.
There was no place for arrogance and anger in politics, Rahul said. “I have realised this in the last one decade of my politics. Politics means removing the pain of others.”
The Congress vice-president questioned the delay in the implementation of the Lokayukta law and RTI in Gujarat, saying the court had to intervene in the matter.
Speaking at a rally on the same ground around two months ago, Modi had questioned Rahul’s commitment to the Lokpal law, given that the Lokayukta Bill brought in by the previous BJP government in Uttarakhand had not been cleared.
Who is not under the ambit of the Lokayukta, Rahul asked people on Sunday. “Ek aadmi hai jo Lokayukta se upar baitha hai (there is one person who is above the Lokayukta).”
Pointing out that tainted former Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa was back in the BJP, Rahul said the party never looks at corruption in own states such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
He warned that the BJP would stop at nothing to grab power, including dividing the state on communal or caste lines. “They say give us power, make our man PM and everything will be alright.”
Highlighting the achievements of UPA II like the right to food, right to education and Lokpal Act, he accused the BJP of stalling five legislations in Parliament, and said the party would also ensure right to health for the people of the country.
With an eye on the large proportion of the state’s population that is in the Army, Rahul brought up the Centre’s recent decision clearing one rank, one pension. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had fulfilled a 25-year-old demand, he said.
Rahul added that Harish Rawat, who took over as chief minister only recently, had assured him that all necessary infrastructure would be in place before the beginning of the tourist season. Rawat worked for 18 hours a day, Rahul said, and he had told him to work even harder. Rahul also reminded people about the Centre’s Rs 7 crore package for rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Uttarakhand.
He also highlighted his “association” with Uttarakhand, saying he had studied at Doon School and his grandfather had been lodged in Almora jail.
The least number of women candidates have been fielded by the Congress which has given tickets to just five women contestants.