Sharpening his attack on Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi today said the Bharatiya Janata Party leader would have "ousted" even Atal Bihari Vajpayee like party veterans Jaswant Singh and L K Advani had the former PM continued being in public life.
He raised questions on the Gujarat chief minister’s wish to become the chowkidar (watchman) of India.
“The man who wants to become the chowkidar does not have a Right to Information commissioner or a Lokayukta in his own state. Because he (Modi) knows that the day they got appointed, his government will fall,” said the Gandhi scion while addressing a rally in Karauli constituency of Rajasthan, where voting will take place on April 24.
According to the Gujarat Information Commission, website there are only three information commissioners, while there should be 10, according to the RTI Act 2005. And for long time, the commission just had a single commissioner.
As far as Lokayukta is concerned, it was appointed as recent as in December, 2013 in Gujarat after the post lay vacant for almost a decade. The Gujarat Lokayukta bill, which was passed in 2013 only had attracted controversy as it was described very weak, and instead of helping the ombudsman, it was supporting government.
Sharpening his attack on Modi’s Gujarat model, Gandhi added, “Modi says he will change India as he has changed Gujarat. But it is not he but the people of Gujarat who made it shine. It is the women who developed Amul, it is the small scale industrialists who developed the textile industry and industrialists who build diamond industry. Not one man.”
“Gehlotji (Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok) never said that he has built Rajasthan because it is you, the people who have built it, and not he. Likewise, one man cannot run a country,” he pointed out.
The Amethi member of Parliament gave another example, “Sometime ago, some Sikh farmers came to meet me and told me that they had migrated from Pakistan some 40 to 50 years ago. The Gujarat government had given them lands which they had made fertile with their hard work. But now Gujarat government officials told them to leave the state as they are outsides.”
Connecting the incident with the saffron brigade’s internal politics, he mocked, “The same treatment has been meted out to senior leaders of BJP. Jaswant Singh has been told that he is outsider. And if the BJP’s senior leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee would have been in public life, he would have been told that he is an outsider too,” said Gandhi.
On the issue of land being sold for peanuts, Congress vice-president again mentioned that land is being sold at a price equivalent to that of a toffee in Gujrat, “Forty-five thousand acre of land have been sold to one industrialist. If your name is Gautam Adani, you can get one meter land at the rate of a Re 1 toffee. Give 10 toffees and you get 10 meters of land and if you give 1,000 toffee then you will get 100 meter land.”
Gandhi began his speech again saying that the election is that of two different ideologies. One ideology being that where we believe in collective progress, while the other being of segregated progress.
Image: Rahul at the public rally in Karauli, Rajasthan. Photograph: Chandra Mohan Aloria