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Rediff.com  » News » At Kapadvanj, Jaitley tears into Sonia, Manmohan

At Kapadvanj, Jaitley tears into Sonia, Manmohan

Last updated on: December 15, 2012 23:02 IST

At Kapadvanj, Jaitley tears into Sonia, Manmohan

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Prasanna D Zore in Kapadvanj

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday showed an uncharacteristic discomfort in using Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's name as well as taking on Congress candidate and chief ministerial-hopeful Shankersinh Vaghela in his public address at Kapadvanj constituency in Gujarat's Kheda district. Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports from the ground.

On Saturday, Arun Jaitley tore into the weak central government led by Congress, its prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, with typical gusto of a senior BJP leader, while addressing a campaign rally at Kapadvanj in Gujarat's Kheda disrtrict.

While he spoke about terrorist attack on India's Parliament on December 13, 2001, he hesitated to openly take Afzal Guru's name, highlighting that the present government was weak and at a loss on how to execute Supreme Court's verdict to hang Guru. "That terrorist'" is how he referred to Guru, who is awaiting death sentence in the Parliament attack case.

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"Two days back on December 13, eleven years ago, terrorists attacked India's Parliament. We were just 30 feet away inside Parliament's walls from where bullets were being fired. Some terrorists were killed and some were caught. The UPA government is still fumbling to take action on the Supreme Court's judgment to hang that terrorist," he said, referring to Afzal Guru.

It came as a complete surprise because the BJP had left no public opportunity to name the terrorist that the Supreme Court has ordered to be hanged.

Proving his point further that Manmohan Singh's government is soft on terrorism, he said the UPA I government repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act as soon as they came to power in 2004.

"When Vajpayeeji was the prime minister we enabled a legislation called POTA, a tough law against terrorists, to tackle the menace of terrorism. The law was not against a particular community but against terrorists. The first thing the UPA government did was to repeal this act when it came to power. They said the terrorists in India need a soft law and not a stern law like the POTA. This is a weak government."

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Image: Jaitley arrives at a campaign rally in Kapadvanj, Gujarat
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com

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'People now compare Gujarat's growth to that of China'

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In yet another surprising instance, Jaitley seems to have forgotten to take on Congress's chief ministerial-hopeful Shankersinh Vaghela and rival to BJP's Kanubhai Dabhi from Kapadvanj constituency where he was addressing a public meeting. In his 25-minute address he did not attack Vaghela or asked voters to vote for Dabhi.

It was only in the dying moments of his speech that he asked people to vote for him on December 17, when Kapadvanj goes to polls in the second phase of Gujarat's elections.

Interestingly, Jaitley's audience, mostly men-folk from rural parts of Kapadvanj, did not much applaud when he attacked Manmohan Singh's government for being "soft on terrorists". They applauded only when he showered encomiums on Narendra Modi.

Jaitley used his entire speech to sing hosannas to the chief minister and the development he has brought about in Gujarat in his ten year reign. He said that when he set out from Ahmedabad late in the afternoon, he wasn't sure he would reach Kathlal in Kapadvanj before the 5 pm deadline set by the Election Commission (Saturday being the last day of campaigning).

"But the roads are in such great conditions that I made it in about 80 minutes. I am sure in the next five years, this distance will be covered in half the time," he added.

Extolling Modi as having become the benchmark of development and growth globally, Jaitley observed that the road network in Gujarat resembles that of those in the developed world.

"The state's development has become the benchmark for the development taking place anywhere in the world today. Gujarat's comparison is less with other states of India. People now compare Gujarat's growth to that of China."

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Image: Jaitley addresses rally at Kapadvanj. Seen beside him is BJP's candidate Kanubhai Dabhi
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com

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'UPA govt will get the gold medal in corruption'

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Tearing into BJP's favourite whipping personality Sonia Gandhi, Jaitley said that the Congress president doesn't understand the logic behind how electricity is produced and distributed, and hence alleges that Gujarat sells electricity to other states of India at the cost of Gujarat's people.

"Yesterday Soniaji said that Gujarat is selling electricity at a profit to other states. She should understand a simple thing that when the production of electricity is more than what is demanded by people, then there are only two options left with the government after providing every village with 24-hour electricity: either waste the surplus energy or sell it to other states in the country."

Trying to connect with the audience and at the same time attack the UPA II regime on the CWG scam, 2G scam and coal scam, Jaitley told the youth in the audience that even if they were educated they would not be able to get right the number of zeros such a figure entails.

"If ever a gold medal was to be given to the most corrupt government in the world it will definitely go to this government. I am sure even the educated youth in this village will not be able to correctly write the number of zeros involved in 1.76 lakh crore and 1.86 lakh crore."

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Image: Kapadvanj residents listen to Jaitley's speech.
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com

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'More you criticise Modi, he emerges stronger'

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He reminded Modi's critics that despite all their criticism of the Gujarat chief minister he has emerged stronger ever since 2002 in every election.

"Gujarat's chief minister has earned a name for the state in the world. Congress's persistent effort is to malign him. But the true strength of leadership is shown by Narendra Modi. The more you criticise or malign him, he emerges stronger. I have never seen any other leader who has been criticised so much and with each such instance his popularity has been multiplying. People throng in lakhs to see and hear him. But I was amazed to find thousands of people gather to listen to his 3D images even when they know that he is not there for real. This happens when people trust their leader as being sincere and loyal to them."

Narendra Modi is dedicated to the people of Gujarat and he has taken a vow of their progress, he concluded.

 


Image: Even the educated youth won't be able to correctly write the number of zeroes in money siphoned off by UPA government, Jaitley said.
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com

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