Surat: With slogans of “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar”, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday evening stormed into the Patidar-dominated Varachha area here in the diamond hub asserting that the “satya” of Gujarat and that of the BJP were two different things.
He also promised to come here again on November 8 when the ruling BJP celebrates “anti-black money day”.
Varachha area is one of the key centres of Hardik Patel led Patidar agitation for reservations to the community under the OBC category.
Amid a cheering audience, Gandhi asserted that the reality of BJP and Gujarat were two different things, and the fight was now between the two.
He said while the UPA government had allotted Rs 35,000 crore for MNREGA, the national rural employment guarantee scheme, Narendra Modi, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, had allocated Rs 33,000 crore to Tatas for the Nano project.
“You gave everything and wanted employment, education for your children, treatment for your ailment. Did you get it? Every time you click a selfie, a youth in China benefits,” Gandhi said, speaking in Hindi, as the crowds screamed, “No, no.”
“You wanted education for your children, you have to give Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh as capitation fees since most institutions in Gujarat are owned by private companies.
“The state of health facilities is no different. This is what the BJP has done in these years. Taken everything from you and helped a handful of business houses.”
Terming the small and mid-sized businessmen of Surat as the “only ones who can challenge the China story”, he termed demonetisation and tardy implementation of GST as an attack on the people.
“Demonetisation was done to capture black money. Narendra Modiji did not understand that all black money is not in cash, but in real estate, Swiss bank accounts.
“If Modiji had attacked black money, why is Vijay Mallya in London? Why was no suited booted guy standing in the queues in front of the banks?” Gandhi asked
“GST was Congress’s idea, but we had said it should be capped at 18 per cent and there should not be so many slabs. But we were told ‘we run the government, you are in opposition, you don’t have to tell us what to do’.
“GST was implemented without testing. Surat was a loser, small businessmen were the sufferers. The idea was to take your money,” he added.
Lambasting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the recent World Bank’s report on ease of doing business which shows India in an improved situation, Gandhi said: “We don’t need certificate from the World Bank, but from the small and mid-sized businessmen of Surat.”
“You people have now gotten into a habit of listening to Narendra Modiji’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ every now and then, if we come to power, you don’t have to listen to us, but we shall listen to you. The day Congress comes to power in India, we shall change GST,” Gandhi added.
He asserted, to a huge applause, “Modiji had said “Na main Khaunga na khaney dunga”, but he did not say a word about the controversy around the astounding growth of Amit Shah’s son.”
Continuing his direct attack on Modi, Gandhi said: “Modiji these days has adopted a new approach called “na bolunga, na bolne dunga” (I will neither speak nor allow anyone else to speak).”
“Modi claims himself to be the chowkidar of the country. If he really is so, he should institute an inquiry into the company of Amit Shah’s son. If he doesn’t do this, he is not the chowkidar, but a bhagidaar (partner).”
Earlier in Valsad, Gandhi, terming the Gujarat elections a fight between truth and lies, said truth lies with his party, and not the BJP.
He had also attacked the Modi government over employment generation and noted that all the communities in Gujarat are agitating against the state government, be it the Patidars, the Adivasis, Dalits and the farmers.