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Rahul slams Gujarat model

- Cong vice-president takes another dig at Modi

Silchar, April 9: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took yet another dig at Narendra Modi and his Gujarat model terming it “impractical” while promising to complete the much-delayed broad gauge and East West corridor projects soon.

“Modi came here and spoke about the Gujarat model of development which is impractical. Barak should have its own model and through that development will get momentum,” Gandhi said while addressing a rally at Udharbond today.

Modi had last campaigned in the valley on February 22.

About 3,500 people had gathered at the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex at Udharbond, 14km from here.

In a poll campaign conducted just three days ahead of the polls in Barak Valley, Gandhi spoke on the importance of the Silchar-Lumding broad gauge project and the completion of the East West corridor. Both of these are national projects and will connect Barak Valley to other parts of the country.

The foundation of the East West corridor project was laid in 2004. The foundation of the broad gauge project was laid on January 24, 1996, by the then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. The cost of the project has escalated to Rs 4,255 crore from Rs 658 crore.

“We will form the government this time too and try our best to materialise the broad gauge and East West corridor projects,” he said.

Rahul accused the BJP of promoting only one individual (indicating Modi) saying, “The people of Barak Valley should be in control of their place and one man shouldn’t keep the key of Barak to himself.”

He also accused the BJP of not giving enough importance to women in its election manifesto.

“The leaders of the Opposition only speak but they do not give enough respect and importance to the women of this country,” he said during the course of his 20-minute speech.

“India can be compared to a flower garden where there are different types of flowers. We have to nurture all of them in the same manner. There are states where people who come from other states are being harassed. This culture should be abolished,” he added.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Congress candidate from Silchar, Sushmita Dev, were present in the rally.

The Opposition left no stone unturned to woo the voters of the valley. On March 30, in an election rally at Karimganj district near the Bangladesh border, BJP president Rajnath Singh had targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and accused him of “not protecting the sovereignty of the country.”

The two parliamentary constituencies in Barak Valley, Karimganj and Silchar, and Autonomous Council (Diphu) go to the polls on Saturday.