Hardik Patel, who was campaigning for Ahmedabad (West) Congress candidate Raju Parmar, on Wednesday attacked the BJP, saying the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had forgotten about the promise of ‘vikas’ (development) made in 2014 and was diverting attention from the real issues by talking about Pakistan as well as polarising people on religious lines.
“Instead of talking about the (lack of) vikas seen in their rule, they are talking of India Pakistan, Hindu-Muslim, temples and mosque to mislead you from real issues,” said Hardik, stating that the BJP government had not fulfilled its promises to the people.
“Everyone says Gujarat is samajhdar (wise) (in terms of making electoral choice), but we need to accept that we are not. Had we been samajhdar, we would not have chosen the man responsible for 2002 (riots in which hundreds of Muslims were targeted and killed) as our chief minister for 15 years,” Hardik said.
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Poking holes in the claimed “Gujarat model of development”, Hardik reminded the nearly 500-people gathered for the rally, that a community (the Patidars) had to agitate in 2015 because there were no jobs. “We expect to win 14-15 seats in Gujarat and if we come to power at the Centre, the first thing we will do is fill up the 33 lakh job vacancies,” Hardik promised.
Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar, also campaigned for Raju Parmar. “I want to tell Prime minister Narendra Modi who asks what the Congress did in 70 years, the primary school you studied in, that was by the Congress party, the hospital that you were born in, that was during the Congress regime.” Shailesh Parmar said. “President of the BJP Amit Shah asks what has the Congress party done in 70 years? I want to say only this much that had the Congress party not administered the polio vaccine, what would be the condition?” he asked referring to India being declared free of the stunting disease due to persistent and therefore successful polio inoculation programmes of past Congress governments at the Centre.