Rahul Gandhi: Gujarat development model a 'toffee model'

Written by PTI | Latur (Mah) | Updated: Apr 15 2014, 03:11am hrs
In a blistering attack on Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi today dubbed the Gujarat model propagated by Narendra Modi as a "toffee model", saying it has benefited only one industrialist in the state, ignoring the interests of the farmers and the poor.

He also said while the BJP talks of empowering women in its election campaign posters, its party activists along with RSS cadres beat up women going to pubs in Mangalore (Karnataka) and the Gujarat Chief Minister uses his powers and police machinery to tap the phone of a woman.

"Let me tell you about the Gujarat model. Have you heard of (L K ) Advani. Advani, Jaswant Singh have been sidelined. Now a new neta (leader) has emerged. He is Narendra Modi. Earlier, there was a partnership between Atal Bihar Vajpayee and Advani. Now there is partnership between Modi and Adani," Rahul said at an election rally here.

"Land of Aurangabad's size...45,000 acres...has been given for a mere Rs 300 crore. This is toffee model not Gujarat model. For Re 1, you get a toffee here. There land was sold at Re one per meter...it was the land of the poor and the farmers," Gandhi said.

He said a loan of Rs 10,000 crore was given to build the Nano car. The amount is more than what is spent on health and education in Gujarat.

Taking a dig at BJP's campaign posters on empowering women, Gandhi said 20,000 women are "missing" in party-ruled Chhattisgarh.

Referring to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Rahul said while he uses his powers for development, state police machinery was used in Gujarat to tap the phone calls of a woman.

He also said women in a Mangalore pub were beaten up for going there by BJP and RSS men.

The Congress Vice President accused the BJP of reproducing the Congress manifesto. "They replaced our party symbol with Lotus," he said, adding while Congress government has already granted One-Rank One-Pension scheme for ex- servicemen, BJP claims it will implement the programme when it comes to power.

"Their manifesto talks of fighting corruption. But it has not suggested any way to tackle graft...we had six bills pending in Parliament to fight graft. But they did not let us pass those," he said.

Rahul said while BJP talked of India shining in 2004 Lok Sabha polls, he did not see Indian villages shining when he was touring the country during those general elections.

Addressing another election rally in Jagtsinghpur (Odisha), Rahul asked the electorate to vote out the BJD government led by Naveen Patnaik, alleging that despite maximum fund allocation by the UPA government to the state, money could not reach the deprived segments it was meant for.

"The UPA government has plans to set up a manufacturing corridor through which lakhs of people can be provided jobs," he said, accusing the BJD government of rendering thousands jobless.

"This is the time for change, give rest to the present government in Odisha and bring back Congress to power to witness real development," Gandhi said.

He said though Odisha is rich in resoures in terms of minerals, the Raghuram Rajan Committee report puts the state at bottom of the list of backward places. "We want people's money should go back to the pockets of the people and not to the select industrial houses," he said.

"Now-a-days, one can find 'Made in China' in most of the products. Don't you want to see products having stickers like 'Made in Odisha' and 'Made in India'," he asked.

Gandhi, who undertook his second visit to Odisha in a fortnight, claimed that though the UPA government had allocated maximum funds to the state government, development could not reach the poor and needy people.