Sonia Gandhi says there's been no progress in Gujarat under BJP rule
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP-led government of failing to meet the aspirations of the people of the state.
While Modi had earlier described the Congress Party as a burden on India and its people, Gandhi said Modi's tall development claims had come unstuck over the past decade, and added that progress was nowhere to be seen under BJP rule.
She said that the ruling party's promises were "hollow and false".
"They (Modi and BJP) have no interest in poor and common people but its only interest is development of its own and a select few people. The development which was promised in a big way is nowhere to be seen in this tribal land...because what they promised were hollow and false," Sonia who is campaigning in the state before the first phase of assembly elections here, said addressing a huge rally.
"This is a land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel who used to preach what they practiced. Now, there are people who give big advice but do not follow them," she said taking on Modi without naming him.
Alleging large scale corruption in Gujarat, Sonia said that the Centre has provided a lot of funds to the state but we do not know where have they gone.
"We (Congress) have had a good relationship with the people of this area. Due to ongoing vested interest politics they (BJP) have constantly tried to weaken this relationship, but you all have negated their moves," Gandhi said mentioning about the support of tribal population to the Congress in the state.
"UPA government has been allocating 1000s of crores of rupees to various states, including Gujarat, without any bias. But nobody knows how this money is spent (in Gujarat)," she said, adding, "Why is poverty still looming in the tribal population of the state? Why there is no change in the lives, position and financial condition of tribal."
"There is no water in hill villages of tribal areas, the BJP had shown you the dream of building 2.25 lakh lakes and dams... where are they ?? Where is employment for the tribal people," she asked.
Sonia said that Congress stood with the people of Gujarat at the time of drought, earthquake and cyclones. She alleged because of the policies of BJP government, the hardships of the common man have increased.
"If the government attended to your problems, you would not have faced so many problems. Our government is the government of the farmers. We have waived off loans for them," she said.
Gandhi said: "The roads in Gujarat were built under the UPA's Prime Minister Rural Road Scheme. In many hilly villages, there are no means to get drinking water. Why is this? Where are those tanks and dams about which the BJP had promised to built? What about those legal rights over the forest lands, which the UPA government gave to you? Where are the means for employment? Where has the development taken place, which was announced with such a fanfare?"
Gandhi further said: "During the Congress party's tenure, the forest cooperative movement was launched, which in turn benefited the tribal people and their income also increased. But it is sad, it is unfortunate, that the present BJP government has ended the cooperative movement."
Gujarat will vote for the first phase of polls on December 13.