Asserting that Gujarat has achieved multi-fold growth in the 22-year BJP rule, party’s national president Amit Shah on Saturday spoke at length about the development the state witnessed in various sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, education and health, comparing the respective figures of 1995 and 2016-17.
“Even the world accepts that between 2001-2014, Gujarat saw a golden period of growth… Today the Congress in Gujarat is raising questions on development, especially Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,” Shah told mediapersons at Gandhidham, referring to the remarks made by the Congress leader during his recent pre-poll visits to the state. Shah is on a five-day tour of Gujarat, beginning from Kutch.
The BJP president said he would like to compare where Gujarat was when the Congress last ruled the state in 1995 — when it had managed to barely stitch a coalition government with Chimanbhai Patel — to where it has reached today. “In 1995-96, Gujarat’s vegetable production was 20 lakh metric tonne. It was 126 lakh metric tonne last year. The production of fruits was 21 lakh metric tonne, today it is 85 lakh metric tonne, the biggest contribution coming from Kutch,” Shah said ,emphasising that the growth has happened during the BJP rule in the state.
“Similarly, when the Congress lost power … the cotton production was 24 lakh bales and it is currently at 1.23 crore bales. This is the kind of growth that has happened,” he said. adding that Rahul has been speaking largely based on figures handed over to him by some non-governmental organisation.
He also said that foodgrain production in Gujarat that stood at 47 lakh metric tonne has now risen to 63 lakh metric tonne. Shah compared the existing figures of milk production, number of medical seats, primary health centres, bank deposits, credit deposit ratio, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, state budget, grant-in-aid and power consumption with what existed in 1995.
These comparisons come a day after Rahul said that the truth of Gujarat was different from the one being portrayed by the BJP. “When people come from Amethi and raise questions on health, then I get surprised because just a month ago I laid the foundation stone of a primary health centre there,” Shah said.