“Central government has written off farmers’ debt worth crores of rupees. But why farmers of Gujarat are still reeling under the burden of debt and committing suicide? The anti-people policies of Gujarat government are responsible for this,” Gandhi said while addressing a well-attended election rally at Dakor, a pilgrimage in central Gujarat district of Kheda.
More than 15 farmers had allegedly committed suicide in the past few months following poor monsoon in Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
Without taking names, the UPA chairperson also hit out at the BJP government on the development issue. “They are talking of development. However, it was farsightedness of past Congress leaders which helped set up industries in this far away state of Gujarat. IPCL and ONGC in Nandeshwari (Nandesari near Vadodara) and car plant in Halol, these all came up when Congress ruled. Today, why are 10 lakh people in the state unemployed?” she said.
Gandhi also countered the BJP government on corruption . “There is talk of corruption all over, but these people are adept at covering up with use of money power,” she said.
The Congress chief said the Centre had allocated 1.40 lakh crore to Gujarat for construction of 25 lakh houses under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Despite 73 per cent of that amount having been released, Gujarat government had built only 40,000 houses and thus denied government benefits to 90,000 poor families, she claimed.
“Now they are promising to build 50 lakh houses. But I assure you, they are giving hollow and deceptive promises,” Gandhi alleged.
The Congress chief also addressed a rally at Sidhpur in north Gujarat where she raised the issue of malnutrition and made references to the historical importance of the place that is known for erstwhile Gujarat ruler Sidhraj Jaisinh. “This is the land of King Sidhraj Jaisinh and Solanki rulers and it is known for doing something new. Now, it’s time to do something new in election,” she said while appealing to people to support the Congress.
Sonia tries Gujarati
At the Dakor rally, Sonia Gandhi tried speaking Gujarati. “Punjana na nishan par button daba kar Congress ko bhari bahumat se jitayen (Push the button of Panja, Congress’s election symbol, and help Congress win with a heavy majority,” she said in Gujarati-Hindi mix. Signing off, she said “Avjo(goodbye)” to a loud applause from the crowd.
Fence no bar
After completing her speech, Sonia signalled to the crowd she would come down to see them. Amid cheers, she climbed up the wooden fencing and shook hands with supporters.
At the rally in Bhavans College Ground at Dakor, Congress leader Ambika Soni did not get an opportunity to address the gathering even as
B K Hariprasad, Shankersinh Vaghela, Dinsha Patel and Bharatsinh Solanki got theirs before the Congress president spoke.
Gohil trumps Vaghela
Shankersinh Vaghela may have declared himself the captain of the state Congress, it was Shaktisinh Gohil, the leader of Opposition in state Assembly, who stole the show at Dakor. Usually, the seniormost leader is the last one to speak at any public meet, but Vaghela was asked to deliver his speech before Gohil. On his part,
Gohil made it clear who all matter in the party. “With blessings of Soniaji, the person who is sensitive to hardships of the poor will become the chief minister,” he said.
Rahul to address three rallies today
Ahmedabad: AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be addressing three election meetings on Tuesday on his maiden visit to the state ahead of polls. Rahul will address a rally in Jamangar at 10 am, at Amreli at 12 noon and at Sanand later.
The great Soniajee should also tell the nation that the central govt can not or not empowered to act in the prevention of farmer's suicide. Did the center atleast ask the states to monitor and send a report? What has to be done to prevent this pathetic situation; was any meeting between the states and center convened? We are tired of mudslinging between political parties..like..you only were responsible..this decision was made when you ruled..etc. Instead of crying like this and shedding crocodile tears..just save INDIA