Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of dumping the development agenda and talking only about himself during campaigning for the Gujarat polls.
Gandhi, who began his second day of campaigning for the second phase polls after offering prayers at Lord Krishna’s Ranchhod Raiji Mandir, claimed Modi frequently changed the election planks and now the prime minister was left with nothing to speak about.
The Bharatiya Janata Party started its campaign on the issue of the Narmada.
After 4-5 days, the public said they were not getting the river water, the Congress leader noted.
“The BJP took a right turn. It said the election will not be contested on Narmada ... let’s contest it on the issue of other backward classes.
“But then the OBCs said the BJP government did not do anything for them. After five-six days, the BJP made a sharp left turn and said it would take out development yatra and talk about 22 years of development,” he added.
The Congress leader said he listened to the PM’s speech on Saturday in which “Modiji talked about Modiji for 90 per cent of the time... First right turn, then left turn, then apply brakes”.
“The election is not about Modiji, nor is it about me. It is neither about the BJP nor the Congress. This election is about the future of the people of Gujarat,” he said.
Criticising Modi over his election rallies which run parallel to his public meetings ahead of the second phase of the polls, Gandhi accused the prime minister of not talking about his future plans for the state and keeping mum on the issue of “corruption.”
He also questioned the prime minister over his silence on the agitations by various communities, including Patels, Dalits, anganwadi workers, among others.
Gandhi said the truth had caught up with the BJP and it could go nowhere from here.
He also asked Congress workers not to use “wrong words” against the prime minister and said his party will defeat him and the BJP with “love and sweet words”.
The Congress leader attacked Modi over demonetisation and GST, saying the note ban helped all “thieves” convert their “black money into white” and the “Gabbar Singh Tax” destroyed small businesses and rendered one lakh people jobless.
“For 60-70 minutes Modiji talks about himself but does not utter a word about note ban and Gabbar Singh. I was sitting in a tea shop. The tea seller said, Rahulji, I am making Rs 50 instead of Rs 100 I made before GST. He (Modi) has caused us 50 per cent loss,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi also raised the issue of BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s business dealings whereby he allegedly “converted Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore”, and the Rafale fighter jet deal.
“You must have observed Modiji does not talk about corruption in his speeches. He made you stand in the queue and imposed the Gabbar Singh Tax,” he said.
“Earlier he used to say ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’. Now he does not utter a word on corruption,” Gandhi added.
Images: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi began his second day of campaigning for the second phase polls after offering prayers at Lord Krishna’s Ranchhod Raiji Mandir. Photographs: @INCIndia/Twitter