While addressing a rally at Gujarat’s Dediapada, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by saying that while big industrialists get acres of land in the state, families of poor farmers are beaten by the police. “Big industrialists get thousands of acres as gift in Gujarat. When farmers ask for their rights, police beat their women,” Rahul was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI. He said only 10 to 15 people rule the state now. “Today, 10-15 people rule in Gujarat and you all know their names,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his own backyard and said those who supported the Indian PM have complaints against him now. “Those (Patidar) who supported Modi, came to me, saying their children don’t get education, who is getting benefit then, I asked,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by the agency.
Earlier in the day, he visited the Panduri Mata Temple at Dev Mogara village before the rally. The goddess is the reigning deity of local tribals. According to the news agency PTI, Rahul Gandhi headed to the temple straight after arriving at the Vadodara airport on Monday afternoon. The temple is situated around 25 km from Dediapada village. This was Rahul’s second rally in Gujarat in recent times. He addressed a rally in Mehsana of north Gujarat in December last years as well.
Ahead of Rahul’s visit to Dedipada, Congress leader Ahmed Patel accused the state government of giving a “preferential treatment” to corporate houses over tribals in the allocation of water of Narmada river. “There is a clear discrimination by the BJP government in providing Narmada water. Corporate houses have been given preference over tribals in providing water (through Narmada canal network). Due to such a discriminatory policy, tribals are still facing acute water scarcity even today,” Patel said.