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Congress dares Modi for debate on development
November 01, 2007 23:10 IST
The Congress on Thursday challenged Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for a public debate on the issue of development in the state and said it would expose his tall claims about achievements of his government.
The party's campaign theme for Gujarat would be Modi ka Jhoot (Modi's falsehood), senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.
The party would make every effort to show that the chief minister's tall claims about development in the state were untrue, he said.
"Let Modi choose any subject -- be it education, the Sardar Sarovar Project, farmers' suicides -- we are ready for a debate," said Sibal, who is the Union Minister for Science and Technology.
"Be it education, tribal welfare, agriculture and irrigation, the Gujarat government has failed to deliver," he said.
Sibal accused Modi of 'stifling democracy' in the state and 'systematically undermining' institutions.
"The post of Lok Ayukta is lying vacant since 2003; the deputy speaker has not been appointed since 2002; the State Human Rights Commission is headed by a chairman but no members have been appointed," Sibal said.
He listed the 'backwardness' of Gujarat in various fields like education, tribal welfare and agriculture.
"The farmers in Gujarat are the most indebted with a per capita debt of Rs 15,526," the Minister said. He also sought to debunk government figures of farmers' suicides in the state.