Stop “fooling” the people, Rahul Gandhi asserted on Wednesday in a fresh broadside against Narendra Modi, dubbing his “toffee or balloon” model of development in Gujarat as nothing but “loot of public money”.
“Hindustan ko ullu banana bandh karo,” (stop fooling the people of the country),” he told an election rally in minority-dominated Kisanganj, contending that one model of development cannot be applicable everywhere.
After Rahul’s toffee model remarks, Modi had hit back accusing the Congress vice president of acting like a child instead of focussing on larger issues.
“Gujarat model of development can be called toffee model or balloon model, which is nothing but loot of public money to benefit big people like Tata and Adani,” Rahul said.
Rahul cited many instances to “expose” the Gujarat model of development and blamed BJP for selling the idea across the country with the aim of making Modi the next Prime Minister.
Elaborating his charge of ‘toffee model’ development by Modi, Rahul said the Gujarat chief minister had given away 45,000 acres belonging to poor farmers and the size of Bihar’s Purnea district to a single person (Adani) at a rate of Re one per sq metre ‘which is equivalent to the price of a toffee’.
Modi gave away the entire stretch of land at a paltry sum of Rs 300 crore, Rahul claimed adding prized land equivalent to the size of Mumbai and near the coast was given away to the same person for only Rs 30 crore.
Modi had also provided Rs 10,000 crore loan to Tata Motors for its Nano car project at 0.1 per cent interest, while the common man get loan from banks at 12 per cent interest, he said.
“For every Nano car, the Gujarat government is providing Rs 40,000 assistance,” Rahul said.
“The total budget of the Gujarat government on education, health and other welfare is less than Rs 10,000 crore,” he noted.
Rahul said contrary to the rosy picture of Gujarat painted by BJP, a whopping 40 lakh people of that state were below the poverty line and earned less than Rs 11 per day.
“He (Modi) claims to know everything. According to him nobody else contributed in the development of Gujarat except him and now he will say the same about the entire country,” Gandhi said ridiculing the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.
This was Rahul’s second election meeting in Bihar. He had addressed the first one at Aurangabad on April 1.
Wednesday’s rally was in support of Congress candidate Maulana Asrarul Haque, who is seeking re-election from Kisanganj.