There is massive undercurrent against BJP in Gujarat, says Rahul Gandhi

DECEMBER 12, 2017 22:16 IST

The Congress will win the Assembly polls in Gujarat as there is “massive undercurrent” and “mood has changed” in the State, said Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi, exuding confidence on the last day of campaigning for the second phase of polling.

“There is massive undercurrent because the mood has changed here. I have seen all communities like Patidars, tribals, Dalits and OBCs are agitating against the BJP government in Gujarat,” Mr. Gandhi told newsmen in Ahmedabad as he wrapped up his campaign.

The 47-year-old three-time MP has led the party’s campaigning from the front since September when he launched his Navsarjan Yatra from Saurashtra which later moved to other provinces.

Lopsided development
In his 30 minute press conference, Mr. Gandhi reiterated the major issues he had raised during the campaign trail and once again questioned the BJP’s Gujarat Model, saying the lopsided development has not touched lives of common people in the State.

He asked the BJP to come clean on the Rafael deal and debt waiver of top corporates.

He said small and medium enterprises were not getting support and even financial assistance from the government and the banks while the government’s entire focus was on a handful of industrial houses.

“During our campaigning in Gujarat, we met many people from all sections of society and prepared a blueprint for the State’s balanced development that our government will implement,” he said, asking the Prime Minister why he did not talk about Gujarat’s development during his campaign.

“The Congress wants to take along all sections of Gujarat together as against the BJP which has worked for 10 to 15 industrialists. All sections of society are angry with the BJP and that anger is coming out before this election,” Mr Gandhi claimed.

“It is for the first time in an election that Modiji has not spoken about corruption, about farmers and lower Minimum Support Price (MSP) for cotton and groundnut,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi also condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insinuation that former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders of the Congress had connived with Pakistan to influence the Gujarat elections.

“When Mani Shankar Aiyer made some remarks, I took action but what PM Modi has been saying about ex-PM is also not acceptable,” he said.

Asked about his temple visits during the campaign, Mr Gandhi said he visited temples in every State and blamed the BJP for politicising the issue. “I visit temples everywhere. I visited Kedarnath also — is it in Gujarat? It’s BJP trying to create this issue here,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said strengthening the base of the Congress was his top priority as Congress President. He also accorded high priority to changing the political discourse which has become “ugly and nasty” in the country.

“Narendra Modiji is my political opponent. He speaks many wrong things about me. But as he is the Prime Minister of the country, not a single bad word will come out of my mouth for him,” he said, adding, “I want to change the political discourse. It has become ugly, it has become nasty. The atmosphere is filled with anger.”