Shimla, May 1 UNI | 3 months ago

A day after an FIR was lodged against BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for a 'selfie', Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today lashed out at the former for projecting himself larger than life and snatching the entire claim of development without giving due credit to the people of Gujarat.

Addressing a Congress rally at Bilaspur, Mr Gandhi said the BJP election campaign was highly Modi-centric as everywhere Mr Modi was projecting himself as a lone man behind the development of Gujarat.

''It was local women who built 'Amul' as a brand in the milk products, local entrepreneurs who strived hard to develop the diamond and textile industry on their shoulders,'' Mr Gandhi said that one man who was chanting 'mein, mein' could not grab the due credit of people after snatching entire claim of development from them.

Terming the Gujarat model of development as 'hollow', he
said Mr Modi provides outlay of Rs 8,000 crore on health and education in the state but one may be astonished to know that one corporate house, M/s Adani, had been given 47,000 acres of land worth Rs 10,000 crore at the rate of Rupee one per square metre and also showered Rs 26,000 crore worth of free power.
''Is it not at the cost of deprived farmers -- after
grabbing their land and also denying them benefit of power?'' Mr Gandhi said this was Gujarat model of development.
The Congress leader alleged that Gujarat peasantry was in
distress under the Modi rule as it was highly pro-corporate forcing the people to take refuge under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme in the state.

''Below poverty line of Gujarat starts from Rs 11 to Rs 12 per capita per day. How could such model be emulated by other states as it could not bring out the down-trodden from deprivation,'' he pointed out.

Launching a scathing attack on the saffron party, Mr

Gandhi said it was RSS leader M S Golwalker who had opposed the right of vote to women. While Mr Modi had a long relation with Hindutva organisations, he was now projecting himself as champion of women welfare.

''Did Mr Modi not suddenly take a U-turn recently as Congress leader late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel becomes the most revered to him and wants to build a statue in his honour,'' Mr Gandhi commented that it seemed he had never read Patel who had described RSS as a venomous organisation and even favoured a ban on it.

'.....unka Patelji ke prati jo prem dikhne mein aya hain woh sab ki samaj sey perai hain,' Mr Gandhi said.

''The UPA government served the people of this country during its 10 year-rule after launching several flagship programmes will never boast so much,'' Mr Gandhi said and added that the Centre had provided rights of employment and food to the people of this country and such policy had succeeded to uplift more than 15 crore people from the below poverty line category.''

He promised that if voted back to power, the government planned to lift 70 crore people into middle class.

Mr Gandhi said after consultation with people Congress had decided to provide right to free treatment in hospitals and right of shelter as even now some were still living under an open sky and in vulnerable conditions.

The party was in favour of industrialisation to ensure jobs to crores of unemployed youth but not to hand over land and other assets to industrialists as in Mr Modi's model of development. Thousands of corporates would be given the benefit of industrial corridors for ensuring job guarantee to unemployed.

Mr Gandhi condemned BJP for misleading the electorate after promising implementation of 'one rank, one pension' scheme'. He argued that the scheme had already been implemented by UPA and also figured in BJP's election manifesto.

He targeted BJP candidate Anurag Thakur and his father Prem Kumar Dhumal, former Chief Minister of the previous BJP rule, with conniving to provide land worth Rs 250 crore to HPCA at the same price band.

Earlier, Mr Gandhi was welcomed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee President Sukhvinder Singh 'Sukhu' and others.

(Posted on 01-05-2014)