Deepak Babaria, secretary, All India Congress Committee.
When the Congress party in Gujarat announced that if they come to power they would give free housing to the poor more than 50 lakh people came on streets to collect the forms to apply for it. It was the fantastic political attention-grabber that shook the Narendra Modi government.
Deepak Babaria, secretary of All India Congress Committee, who is attached to Rahul Gandhi's office claims the poor people craving for a home and security exposed Modi's tall claim of all round development.
In Gujarat Modi's main criticism revolves around two issues. Modi's 'arrogance' and his penchant for focusing on 'middle-class and upper-class but not the poor class'.
Babaria, a loyal Congress leader from Ahmedabad, voices his anger against Modi's "propaganda" and more.
When asked on what issues Modi can lose, Babaria said, "The two major issues on which he will lose is his neglect of the common man in the development process and his arrogance. He is absolutely power corrupt person. To elaborate on the neglect of the common man, he referred to the issue where Congress promised a house for women and lakhs of women came in to get application forms.
"It is a very important election for Gujarat because it is going to decide the destiny of the state. The present form of development is likely to ruin this state." He thinks Gujarat should get rid of, "the make believe world of the Modi government."
When asked if he thinks that Modi is popular, Babaria says, "That is also kind of make belief created by Modi through his propaganda and media campaign. But genuinely it is not so. Maybe he will be able to impress the people for some time, but of course we all know that we cannot fool everybody all the time."
He says, "For any working class person, the Modi government has hardly done anything. For the basic requirement of the people like education and health care and social sector, he has virtually done nothing. But he has commercialised it to such an extent that we have two glaring examples: one where a medical student had to commit suicide because his parents couldn't pay his fees. They were not in a position to pay fees, that too in a government college. And the second example is when a pregnant lady undergoing treatment in a government hospital was thrown out and ultimately expired. And her husband also committed suicide."
He says, "Lack of sensitivity to the cause of the common man will be one of the major deterrents to this Modi government and, secondly, his arrogance. He has virtually cut himself off from the democratic process of communication, what we call as samvaad. He is not in dialogue with either his partymen or his advisors, or with any section of society or with the opposition. He is megalomaniac. He considers himself to be larger than lifesize. I don't think the culture of our country permits this kind of arrogance. These two major elements are going to bring an end to the Modi regime in Gujarat. And this is very evident all around that people are totally disenchanted. I am sure this time it is the Congress which is going to form the government in the state."
Reportage: Sheela Bhatt | Video: Reuben N V in Ahmedabad