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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi accuses PM Modi of ‘selling dreams to the poor’

"Yesterday Modiji said, ‘I will finish poverty from Gujarat by 2022’. In 2025, Modiji will send every Gujarat citizen to the moon; in 2028, he will give everyone homes on the moon. By 2030, Modiji will bring the moon to the earth.”

Written by Aditi Raja | Updated: October 11, 2017 9:43:48 pm
rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi gujarat visit, rahul gandhi in gujarat, rahul gandhi narendra modi, gujarat elections, Navsarjan Yatra, bjp, congress Rahul Gandhi on Day-3 of his Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat (Express photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, on the concluding day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra across tribal districts of Central Gujarat, continued his scathing attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah and his son Jay Shah. Gandhi, whose last stop was a public address in Fagvel in Kheda, mocked Modi for ‘selling dreams to the poor’s, saying that by 2030, Modi will bring the moon to India.’

Addressing the gathering in Fagvel, which comprised mainly of tribal population from Central Gujarat, Rahul said, “Just yesterday, Modiji made a comment. He said, ‘By 2022, I will finish poverty from Gujarat.’ This is the man who has been in power in Gujarat for 22 years. So, let me tell you what he will tell you next… By 2025, he will send every Gujarati to the moon. By 2028, he will provide a home for everyone on the moon. And, by 2030, Modiji will bring the moon to India.” Rahul’s comment had the audience break into a laugh.

Rahul went on to attack the BJP led Gujarat government and Modi for their “failure in providing the rights to poor tribals”. Rahul said, “Just this morning, I met tribal students in Chhota Udaipur. One of them had tears in his eyes as he told me that he had to pay Rs 5 lakh as fees for higher education. His father asked him to discontinue studies. What did Modiji do for this boy?”

Rahul, who chose Fagvel as his last bastion also visited the Bhathiji Maharaj temple and offered prayers. The location is strategic as it is a stronghold of former Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela as well as the spot from where Narendra Modi began his Gaurav Yatra as chief minister in 2002. To establish a connect with the audience, he said, “I am a Congress leader. But today, I am here as the son of Gujarat. I am here to speak for Gujarat. For last few years, you have been listening to Modiji’s Man ki Baat… speaking to people for the last three days, I have understood that there is an strong undercurrent against Modi, Amit Shah and the BJP here. The Congress will form a government that will hear your Man ki Baat.”

Rahul embarked on a 250 km long Yatra on Wednesday morning from Chhota Udepur, interacting with tribal students. A student asked Rahul, “Politicians come during elections, make promises and go away. What will we do after you go?” To this, Rahul said, “I am here to listen to your Man ki Baat. The Congress wants to restore the honour of your hard working parents by giving a boost to the education system in Gujarat, which has been left in the hands of businessmen as a profitable enterprise by Modiji.”

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Rahul’s blue bus canvassed through villages in Chhota Udaipur, Dahod, Panchmahals and Kheda district. He addressed a rally on unemployment and tribal rights in Dahod, where he questioned Modi’s intention behind giving “almost free” land and water to Tata Nano plant in Gujarat. Rahul asked the audience of tribals in Limkheda, Dahod, “Have you seen a Nano on the roads or highways? Does it even get manufactured any more? Let me tell you, the UPA government gave Gujarat Rs 35,000 crore for MNREGA to generate employment. Modiji gave Rs33,000 crore to Tata to set up a Nano plant. He snatched away your lands, your water and gave it to industrialists.”

Taking his attack on Modi over Nano further in Fagvel, Rahul said, “Did anyone question Modi where the Rs 33,000 crore given to Tata go? It was not his personal money. Gujarat has failed to protect the rights of the tribals or provide employment to youth. The Congress party is coming here to change this.”

See in pictures | Rahul Gandhi’s last phase of Navsarjan Yatra

En route Fagvel, Gandhi’s convoy received a rousing welcome in Godhra as people ran along with the bus to catch a glimpse of the Congress Vice President. The SPG security cover and local police officers struggled to keep crowds at bay as they showered Gandhi with flowers and garlands. A man, who breached security protocol, handed over a black and white photo of Gandhi’s father and former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi. The SPG security pulled off the keys of two wheelers that refused to move out of the security cordon of the convoy in Godhra.

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