Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi kept up his attack on the BJP, saying the Modi government’s claims of development were a “dream” running on television only.
The fresh barb from the 47-year-old Congress leader comes a day after he and BJP chief Amit Shah traded charges over corruption and development claims from each others’ home turfs.
Interacting with college students on the last day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in central Gujarat, a tribal belt, Gandhi questioned the government’s claims of progress. The area lacked basic infrastructure, women felt unsafe, there were not enough teachers in schools, he said.
The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP chief, Gujarat is expected to hold assembly elections in December.
Gandhi left the stage and walked around the hall packed with students and encouraged them to ask questions.
“You tell me your mann ki baat. This platform will help to take up the matter with the government,” Gandhi said, taking a veiled dig at PM’s monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat.
The Congress is looking to deflate the “Gujarat model of progress”, which the BJP showcased in the run-up to 2014 national election that saw chief minister Modi become PM Modi.
“The BJP’s development claim is nothing but a dream which is being run on TV. The money to run this dream comes from few industrialists,” the Congress leader said.
In power for almost 22 years now, the BJP is facing anti-incumbency and the anger of the powerful Patidar community demanding quota in education and government jobs. Attacks on Dalits and Muslims have added to the government’s trouble.
Gandhi asked one of the girls if she could speak in English. The students, most of them in college, said they were not well-versed with English.
He promised students that the Congress would improve education infrastructure and work towards creating jobs.
Gandhi again accused the government of cronyism.
`There is a protest going on in Australia against Adani but Gujarat has never seen any protest against Adani. This is because the BJP government is committed to the interests of these four-five industrialists,” he said.
Protests were held across Australia on Saturday against Indian mining giant Adani’s proposed $16.5-billion Carmichael coal mine project, which has been hit by environmental and financing issues.
Gandhi promised young students that Congress government will work on providing infrastructure in education system and work to create new jobs, when come to power.
Gandhi will later in the day visit Limkheda, Tuwa village and Phagvel in his special luxury bus.