Union minister Jitendra Singh said today that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign for Gujarat Assembly polls has come as a “blessing in disguise” as it offers an opportunity to people to judge “where each one of us stand”. Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, said “the person who claims to be a prime minister- in-waiting must allow himself to be exposed in toto before the people so that they know how safe or unsafe they are in his hands.” Gandhi has been campaigning extensively for the Gujarat Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. He has visited several temples in the state over the course of his campaign, inviting accusations that the Congress was playing a “soft-Hindutva” card ahead of the polls in the state the BJP has governed uninterrupted for 22 years.
Singh said Gandhi’s campaign has given the voters of Gujarat and the nation an “opportunity to judge where each one of us stands.” On reports that Gandhi would soon be made the president of his party, he said he found it strange that “each electoral defeat (for Congress) is directly proportional to the elevation of Gandhi”. “He lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election and was elevated from general secretary to the post of vice president. Now, they are waiting him to lose Gujarat, and he will be elevated to the post of president,” the Union minister said. Referring to Gandhi’s Gujarat campaign, he said: “I think on a serious note, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise for all of us, for the entire nation… The nation will be able to decide how long can they actually do business with Rahul Gandhi and the likes.”
On opposition’s allegations that the BJP was trying to polarise the electorates, he said the voters of Gujarat were aware their aspirations would be realised only by the BJP. “The credit goes to (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. During his tenure as chief minister, not only he brought about revolutionary transformation in Gujarat, for example converting the God-forsaken Kutch desert into an international tourist resort, but he also ensured an atmosphere of communal harmony which had evaded the state during previous regimes,” he said. He said an attempt was being made by the Congress and some fringe elements to mislead the country.
“But mind you, the youth of Gujarat and the country is awakened; he is globally connected and cannot be easily misled on the lines of caste, creed and religion…As far as polarisation is concerned, every trick was tried by Gandhi but he failed,” Singh said.