Rahul Gandhi taunts Narendra Modi, draws parallel with Adolf Hitler at rally

Written by PTI | Balasinor | Updated: Mar 12 2014, 04:02am hrs
Rahul GandhiRahul Gandhi addresses his supporters during a rally at Balasinor in Gujarat where he took his bete noire Narendra Modi head on. Reuters
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today launched a blistering attack on BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi on his home turf in Gujarat by comparing him with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and also accused his government of "stealing" farmers' land at the behest of corporates.

Rahul Gandhi also made light of Narendra Modi's recent statement that he would protect the country's treasury as a 'chowkidar' (watchman) from corruption, saying that there was no need of such a watchman.

Alleging that BJP has no ideology of its own and that is why it want to usurp the legacy of Sardar Patel by building a huge statue, Rahul Gandhi guaranteed that his party will never follow any RSS or BJP leaders.

"There are two kinds of leaders. The first type like Gandhiji belongs to those who go among people, have some ideology and believe in the knowledge of people. He goes to them, asks them and learns from them. The thinking of this kind of leader is that it is the people who are repository of knowledge. Such a leader wants to understand people and has no pride," Rahul Gandhi said addressing a rally in Balasinor town of Kheda district.

"Then there is another kind of leader, whose best example is perhaps Hitler. Hitler thought there was no need to go to people. He believed entire knowledge of the world is only in his mind. That kind of leader only talks that he did this and that. That leader does not require to go to people," he said without naming anybody.

"That is what my effort has been. I want to listen to you, understand you," he said, adding that he tried to follow Mahatma Gandhi.

In reply to Narendra Modi's statement that he will protect country's treasury as a chowkidar (watchman) from corruption, Rahul Gandhi said that today people say that make me a chowkidar, I will eradicate corruption.

"Britishers had come calling themselves chowkidar, but Congress made them run away (gave freedom). We do not need one chowkidar, we want to make every citizen of this country a chowkidar," the Congress leader said.

"What kind of chowkidari (guarding) is happening in Gujarat Lakhs of acres of land are being taken away from the farmers and being given to industrialists. When farmers say something, their voice is ignored," he said.

"Is stealing the land of farmers chowkidari This is called theft and not chowkidari," Gandhi pointed out, while addressing the rally in Balasinor, the first destination of his tour.

Rahul Gandhi also attacked Modi for keeping corrupt ministers in his government.

"The leaders from BJP talk about corruption. Three ministers in Gujarat have gone to jail in corruption cases but they were not removed from the state Cabinet," Rahul said, adding there was no Lokayukta in Gujarat till the court intervened.

In an apparent reference to re-induction of B S Yeddyurappa into BJP, he said "in Karnataka, why did they bring back a (former) chief minister, who faced corruption charges,"

Rahul Gandhi termed Narendra Modi's pet project of installing world's tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as "good" but suggested that they should have read about him first.

"Sardar Patel has said that RSS ideology is poisonous and will destroy the country. All of them have spent their entire life in RSS. They say Congress needs to be finished. I want to ask, Patel and Gandhi built this party...You want to destroy what was built by them," the Congress vice-president said.

Accusing Modi of trying to usurp the legacy of Sardar Patel, he said that the BJP has no ideology of their own.

"But I guarantee you that Congress will never follow any RSS or BJP leader," he said.

Continuing his diatribe against Modi, Rahul said, "People say that Congress has ruled for 60 years, give us 60 months.

Do they mean to say that for the last 60 years people have not made any progress. Progress of Gujarat was due to people, if Amul model was successful it is due to the women of Gujarat".

Rahul Gandhi also accused the BJP of trying to appropriate the schemes launched by Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.

He reiterated that BJP initially opposed to introduction of computers in the country.

Rahul said that when Congress had talked about bringing computers in the country, two big leaders of the BJP had said in Parliament that this would be damaging, take away jobs and spoil the future of youths.

"10 years later, the same leaders -- the number one and two in that party -- with Pramod Mahajan (the then telecom minister) by their side said they brought computer revolution in the country. The revolution by Amul was also led by us. BJP leaders were saying they did it. I am sure that after 10 years they will say that MNREGA was their idea," Rahul Gandhi said.

Referring to NDA's India Shining campaign in the past and the party's focus on development in Gujarat, the Congress leader said, thousands of acres of land was taken but there is no employment.

"The BPL figure is pegged at Rs 11 in Gujarat but it is being publicised in other regions of the country that Gujarat is shining. Gujarat is indeed shining but not for the poor, the women but only for 10-15 industrialists. They are shining like gold but the houses of the poor in Gujarat are not shining," he said.