Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday disputed the BJP’s development claims in Gujarat and said the governments in the state and at the Centre worked only for a handful of industrialists.
Addressing an impressive rally in the tribal-dominated Dediapada in Narmada district, Gandhi said the state was being ruled by 10-15 people and that in “Vibrant Gujarat” only these close to the establishment get all the benefits at the cost of others.
He said the Congress would put all its energies in the Gujarat assembly elections due this year and ensure a defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
This is how the Gandhi scion began his campaign from the tribal belt of Gujarat which has 27 of 182 assembly seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
In his 25-minute speech, he told the large tribal audience that if the Congress came to power, it would ensure their first right on Jal (water), Jungle (forests) and Jameen (land) and not those ruling or dominating the state.
“The RSS and BJP do not respect you (tribals). They want you to go to big cities and become servants of those living there. Congress would never allow this. We will protect your rights on jal, jungle and jameen,” Gandhi said.
Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said he had promised jobs to 2 crore youths every year but the government could create only 1 lakh jobs last year and not a single in the current year.
“He only wants you to hear his Mann ki Baat. When we come back to power, Congress will come to your doorsteps and hear your Mann ki Baat. We do not believe that only one man can bring progress or development but it is all of you who contribute to development,” he said.
All senior Gujarat Congress leaders, state chief Bharatsinh Solanki, Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela, Ahmed Patel, and the party in-charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot sat on the stage with Gandhi.