Bharatiya Janata Party's top leaders descended on 'Nehru-Gandhi family bastion' Amethi on Tuesday, with party chief Amit Shah questioning Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over development in his Lok Sabha constituency and slamming him for mocking Gujarat's development.
Shah, union minister Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath targeted Gandhi here while he was attacking the Union government in Gujarat, the poll-bound home state of the BJP chief and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a public meeting here, Shah said Modi and Adiyanath will ensure all-round development of Amethi as also rest of the state.
"You have trusted a family for 60 years, now trust BJP and Modi and you will not feel betrayed," Shah told the people of Amethi where Irani lost to Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Amethi is known all over the world as a 'Nehru-Gandhi family bastion' but there has been no development, he said.
He said there were two models of development here -- a 'Nehru-Gandhi model' and the 'Modi model'.
Responding to Gandhi's repeated posers as to what the BJP had done during its rule, Shah said, "The Congress ruled the country for 70 years. I want to ask you that you have been MP here for a long time but why is there no collector's office, TB hospital and Akashwani's FM here? Erosion of land due to Gomti river has not been stopped."
He added that the BJP has 'given a prime minister who speaks'.
Slamming Gandhi for questioning development in Gujarat, Shah said, "He is mocking at the development in Gujarat. I want to ask 'Shahzada' of the Congress as to what your three generations have given to Amethi? You sought account of our past three years but people of Amethi are taking account of works done here by your past three generations."
Taking a swipe at Gandhi, Shah said, "Rahul baba cannot see development as he sports Italian spectacles."
He said the Modi government had launched 106 schemes over the last three years and named some of those.
"For the first time in 35-40 years, I am seeing that the winning candidate (Rahul Gandhi) remains missing from his constituency and a defeated candidate (Irani) is giving time to the people," Shah said.
"When a leader does not get mandate, then that leader tends to desert that constituency," he said and hailed Irani for working for the constituency despite her defeat.
Asserting that "Lotus (BJP's symbol) will bloom in Amethi in the next Lok Sabha elections, Shah said, "When we come to the people asking for votes in 2019, we will not come with excuses and say what we will do in future. We will come with details and full report of what we have already done and achieved," the BJP chief said.
"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will develop UP," he asserted.
The BJP chief also said, "During the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government under the 13th Finance Commission, UP's share in central taxes was Rs 2,80,467 crore."
The Modi government implemented recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission under which the state's share in central taxes went up to Rs 7,10,966 crore, Shah said.
As far as local bodies' grants are concerned, the Modi government gave Rs 4,77,000 crore more to UP as compared to UPA government, he added.
Shah also spoke about the 'strong decisions' taken by Modi, like the surgical strikes at terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last year.
"The world today recognises India as a power to reckon with. People welcome Modi ji wherever he goes in the world. That is a welcome not for him as an individual or that of the BJP but as a representative of a powerful country like India and its people. The government's efforts under Modi ji are bearing fruits," he said.
Irani, while attacking Gandhi, said she wanted to address those who saw Amethi just from the point of view of votes.
She said Amethi does not have even a Collector's office. She said Gandhi used to talk about development in the country and abroad and is mocking at Gujarat's development but the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here has not returned land taken from farmers.
"Rahul Gandhi, who used to talk about relief to farmers, did not return their land taken by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here," the Union minister for information and broadcasting and textiles said.
Referring to the closure of a cycle factory called Samrat, she said, "... the country was surprised that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Rahul, which did not do any commercial activities has purchased it. The land should be freed and given back to the farmers."
Irani had created a stir in 2015 when she accused the top Congress leadership of usurping nearly 65 acres of land acquired from farmers for setting up a manufacturing unit, Samrat Cycle, a project that never materialised.
Starting her speech on a rather personal note, Irani said, "Before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, a number of people told me that barely 18-20 days are left for the polls, and we will not hesitate to struggle with you, after all we have been struggling for the past 40 years. But, the struggle should continue even after elections, only then development will reach every nook and corner of Amethi."
She added that 'the biggest privilege (for me) is that I came here as a BJP representative, but today I have become the didi (sister) of Amethi'.
Noting that the BJP had won four out of five seats in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in this year's assembly polls, Irani said, "In 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) BJP will win here."
Irani had led a high-voltage campaign against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 polls and secured 3,00,748 votes while the Congress leader had bagged 4,08,651 votes.
Adityanath said, "We will leave no stone unturned in developing Amethi or for that matter the entire state."
He also said no son-in-law or son will be allowed to grab land in the state, but did not take any names.
At Tuesday's meeting, a slew of projects were unveiled for Amethi and a number of foundation stones were laid, days after Rahul Gandhi had during his visit here accused the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of re-inaugurating the projects launched by the previous UPA regime in the district.