Latur (Maharashtra), April 14:
Continuing a sharp attack on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Monday termed the Gujarat model of development as a “toffee model” as land of poor farmers was being sold to industrialists at throwaway rates – the same as a toffee costs.
Gandhi alleged that in Gujarat only one industrialist was benefitting at the cost of the poor farmers and labourers who are dying of hunger.
“One out of every two children starves in Gujarat… This is the Gujarat Model the BJP keeps talking about,” he said adding that the Gujarat development balloon would burst soon.
Gandhi said that earlier there was a partnership in the Bharatiya Janata Party between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani but “now, a new leader has emerged – Narendra Modi. Now there is partnership between Modi and Adani”.
He accused Modi of giving away 45,000 acres of land – the size of Maharashtra’s Aurangabad city – at just Rs.3 billion, or at the rate of Re.1 per metre.
Besides, Gandhi said that a loan of Rs.10,000 crore was given to build the Nano car – an amount more than what was spent on health and education in Gujarat.
Ridiculing the BJP’s claims on women empowerment, Gandhi said that 20,000 women are “missing” in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Gujarat’s state police machinery was used to tap phone calls of a woman, while women in a Bangalore pub were beaten up by BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) workers when BJP was in power in Karnataka.
Gandhi repeated his charge that the BJP reproduced the Congress manifesto. “They simply erased the Congress’ hand symbol and replaced it with their lotus,” he alleged.
“Their manifesto speaks of fighting corruption, but has not suggested any ways to tackle it. We had six bills in parliament to fight corruption, but they did not allow us to pass them,” he said.