After mounting a spirited campaign in Gujarat, Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday declared that his party has taken the BJP head on and is confident of forming its government in the state.
“The BJP has been cornered. BJP’s model of development has been hollow and the people of Gujarat has understood this. They have claimed to have done a lot in 22 years but are not able to tell the people what they have done,” he told the media as the campaign for the second and last phase of the elections wound up.
“After the first phase voting in the state (December 9), we are confident that we are going to form the government here. After 22 years Congress has stood on its own feet. Now Congress is speaking by standing in front of the BJP and challenging it,” he said.
“The BJP did not stick to its position on the claim of development. Even in his last election meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi either spoke against Congress and or about himself. Earlier, he used to say we will die fighting corruption. But he did not utter the word in his entire campaign after we raised the scam in the Rafale deal and the alleged spike in Jay Shah’s business fortunes. They shifted their position as the campaign progressed,” he said.
The second and final phase of the Gujarat Assembly election is slated on Thursday. The results will be out on December 18.
Asked how a Congress government will fulfil the election promises, Gandhi said “Whatever decision we will take, we will do so after talking to the people. We will not take unilateral decisions. If your intention is good you can do anything. Our record is there. We don’t talk in the air. We have done in the past too by waiving the farm loans of Rs 75,000 crore (during UPA I),” he said.
He questioned Modi’s record on implementation of poll promises saying he had promised to put Rs 15 lakh in the account of each individual and to provide two crore jobs every year but failed to deliver.
He alleged that the BJP’s rule of Gujarat had only helped a few.
“In the last 22 years, Modiji and (Chief Minister Vijay) Rupaniji have initiated only one-sided development here, the one only for five to 10 people. Not everyone has been given their due.”
Gandhi said elections are won on narrative and on issues. “One who maintains the narrative wins the elections. They (BJP) have not been able to maintain the narrative,” he claimed.
Rahul Gandhi said his party has changed itself in the state.
He made it clear that no nasty or filthy language will be tolerated against the Prime Minister
“I have cleared my position through my words and also through action. The way Mani Shankar Aiyar attacked Prime Minister, I am not going to tolerate such comments against the post of Prime Minister. And you all saw the action,” Gandhi said.
Slamming Modi for his barbs against his predecessor, the Congress leader said, “What the Prime Minister said about Manmohan Singhji is also not acceptable. He was Prime Minister of the country and has done a lot for it.”
He also said that as Congress President his priorities will be to change the nature of the politics. “Politics should not be ugly and nasty. There is a lot of anger in politics these days, but politics should be carried with love,” he said.
Asked about Modi attacking him in public rallies, Gandhi said that he will not use any such words for the Prime Minister.
“Modiji always keeps on screaming against political opponents. He even used a lot of words for me. But I am not going to use any filthy language against him because he is the Prime Minister,” he said.
Gandhi also described the seaplane ride of Modi as a trick to distract the attention of the people from the real issues.
“If Modiji is travelling in seaplane then there is nothing wrong in it. But it is a distraction. The real question is what has he done for Gujarat in last 22 years?” Gandhi asked.