Criticising BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for advocating the Gujarat model of development, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today dismissed it, saying the same formula could not be applied to all states in the country.
“Each state has its own history, knowledge, thought and own model. The same formula cannot be applied to all states of the country,” Gandhi said at an election meeting here in the Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency.
“Assam does not need the Gujarat model, but the Assam model and it is already there leading to development and growth in the state,” he said.
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“The Gujarat model has been in existence for a long time and it has been shaped by its women, farmers and workers there. There is no need for a single person to take credit for it,” Gandhi, flanked by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and APCC President Bhubaneswar Kalita, said.
“BJP believes in only one thought which is applicable across the country, but this is not a country of one thought or idea,” he said.
Gandhi said that during his travels in Gujarat he had talked to farmers, women, adivasis, OBCs and the poor who appealed to him to look into their problems as nobody listened.
“The Gujarat model has benefited a few companies with farmers’ land taken. We do not want such models for other states,” he said.
The BJP’s ‘India Shining’ ‘hot air balloon’ burst in 2004, another did so in 2009 and the one sent up by the party this time would deflate ‘with noise three times louder’, he said.
“The NDA had launched the ‘India Shining’ campaign in 2004 which was like a hot-air balloon that went up and burst in the air and who burst it …. not the Congress, but the poor of the country did it,” he said.
“Again in 2009, another balloon went up with even the media also saying that the Congress cannot form the government, but the balloon was against burst by the people,” he said. “Similarly, this time also a fully pumped up balloon has been sent up and this will burst with a noise three times louder,” he said.
The BJP, he alleged, believed in Hindus fighting Muslims, conflict between the poor and the rich … the Marathas against people from Uttar Pradesh, leading to riots before the general elections in Uttar Pradesh.
“Their’s is a politics of anger and they cannot see the poor and their pain and problems,” he said. The Congress, Gandhi said, believed in the politics of love, unity and peace which was evident in Assam which witnessed violence, insurgency and no peace or development for several years.
“When Congress came to power in 2001, the state witnessed a change with love removing violence, peace returning and
growth rate increasing from two per cent to 13 per cent,” Gandhi said.
“You cannot wipe out darkness with darkness, but only light can eliminate it. Assam has done it and the rest of the country should learn from this,” he added.
Criticising the BJP for stalling the passage of the women’s reservation bill, Gandhi said “We will definitely pass the bill.”
Referring to the increase of nine LPG cylinders to 12 a year, he said that women across the country had asked him to raise their number. “I talked to Sonia ji and the Prime Minister and it was increased in two minutes.”