Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday took on Narendra Modi today saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate was 'irresponsible' and had made 'wrong statements' at his rally two days ago.
"Today I got a golden opportunity to expose Narendra Modi. He is an ordinary man. I have never seen an irresponsible leader like him, and he wants to be the PM of this country," Gogoi told a press conference.
"Modi is shedding only crocodile tears. He remembered Assam only because elections are coming. He remembers only when he lands at BorjharAirport in Guwahati and forgets it when he leaves... During Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure, Assam got nothing," Gogoi said.
He alleged that Modi was a "dedicated and committed volunteer of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sagh, which had killed Mahatma Gandhi".
On Modi's jibe that Gogoi whose name meant young should also think young, he said "My modern outlook and his modern outlook are different. His modernity is about how to dress and talk with big American companies, but mine is to work for rural people, for the aam aadmi."
Citing figures, he said "As per the Government of India figures, the Gross State Domestic Products of Assam is 13 per cent in 2012-13, while it is 8.52 per cent in Gujarat."
Gogoi said, "My spending on development is much higher. During the National Democratic Alliance’s time in the 11th Finance Commission, Assam got Rs 13,280.86 crore. It went up to Rs 57,832.7 crore during the 13th Finance Commission."
Assam's overall debt stood at Rs 29,200 crore compared with Rs 1,76,500 crore to Gujarat, Gogoi said. "As on March 2013, the per capita loan burden of my state is Rs 9,368, while it is Rs 29,228 in Modi's state," he said.
Speaking about MGNREGA, he said Modi had given completely wrong figures.
"In Assam, 40.92 lakh job cards were issued and 13.08 lakh people got jobs. Whereas in Gujarat, 36.60 lakh people were issued job cards, but only 1.75 lakh got jobs," he added.
On government spending, Gogoi said Assam spent 25.08 per cent of total budget in education, sports, art and culture as against 17.13 per cent by Gujarat.
"In rural development and medical and public health, I am spending 3.13 per cent and 4.80 per cent respectively of my total budget, while Modi is spending 2.8 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively," he added.
Gogoi, however, said Gujarat was spending more on urban development projects than Assam. "In overall health index, Assam's position in India is 3rd compared to 13th of Gujarat. In education, our ranking is 13th, while Gujarat's position is 20th," he claimed.
Gogoi also claimed that the number of crimes in his state was less than Gujarat. He said that Assam was affected by problems like insurgency, illegal migrants issue, flood and economic backwardness, which Gujarat did not encounter.
"Modi was never in a bad financial position. Gujarat was always comfortable since independence. When I took over, Assam's economy was bankrupt, there was no salary, law and order was bad. But we have done good from there," Gogoi said.
He also said that that Bhupen Hazarika, despite being a BJP Lok Sabha member, the Assam government took the burden of his medical expenses during his illness.