Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Friday that his party will win the upcoming Gujarat election “because the truth is with Congress”. He said the truth of Gujarat is the “joblessness of its youth, the helplessness of its farmers, the bullets fired at Patidars and the canes that landed on the Dalits in Una and the hunger of its tribals”.
Rahul was speaking at a meeting in Kumar Shala grounds in Pardi town of Valsad district on the third day of the last leg of his Navsarjan Yatra. “Today Modiji and BJP have everything. They are in power at the Centre, the state governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh are with them. They have a lot of strength. But I want to tell you from this stage that the Congress party will win elections in Gujarat because the truth is with the Congress. Try as much as you like, you do not have the truth with you,” he told the gathering. “Gujarat can show the country the way… The change will begin from Gujarat and on the day of election, the Congress party will win here and a new future for Gujarat will be scripted.”
Targeting Modi, Rahul said that the chief minister of Gujarat in 2007 had promised tribals schemes worth Rs 15,000 crore. “Five years later, the money has not been given. In 2012, he said that he will give Rs 40,000 crore. Five more years have passed and no money has been given. I am seeing for the first time in Gujarat that all communities are agitating, including the adivasis, the Patidars, the Dalits and the OBCs.”
Rahul said the total value of MoUs signed during eight editions of the state government’s flagship Vibrant Gujarat summit was four times the total value of Indian currency, but “the truth is that less than two per cent of the investments (promised) actually happened.”
He said the reality of Gujarat is different from that portrayed by BJP. “Gujarat ka sach Gujarat ke naujavano ki berozgari hai, Gujarat ka sach kisano ki dard or laachari hai, Gujarat ka sach mehngi private shiksha aur mehnga ilaj hai, Gujarat ka sach har cheez mein bhrashtachar aur zameen ki chori hai, Gujarat ka sach Patidar naujavano par chali goli hai, Gujarat ka sach Una pe Daliton par padi lathi hai, aur adivasio ki bhook aur berozgari hai. Yeh Gujarat ka sach hai (Gujarat’s truth is the joblessness of its youth, the helplessness of its farmers, expensive private education and healthcare, rampant corruption and land theft, bullets fired at Patidars, cane that landed on Dalits and the hunger of tribals).”
Rahul said that while the Gujarat government extended help to the tune of Rs 33,000 crore for the setting up of the Tata Nano factory, the project failed to create jobs. “In the three rounds of visits to Gujarat … I have covered thousands of kilometres in 10-15 days, but why haven’t I seen a single Nano car. I am still searching for that Nano. I will not get it, not just in Gujarat, but in the entire country. The question is to whom did the Rs 33,000 crore belong to. Did it belong to the Tatas or the chief minister or to the people?”
The Congress vice-president also addressed farmers gathered under the banner of Gujarat Khedut Samaj on the premises of Saurashtra Kadva Patidar Seva Samaj near Valsad town. “Our Prime Minister keeps talking about corruption. The biggest corruption happening in India is snatching land from farmers and given to somebody else…Gujarat government has acquired 6.5 lakh acres and 60 per cent of it is not being used. It is also not being returned (to farmers),” he said in reply to a question on the government’s acquisition of farmlands.