The Telegraph
Thursday , April 17 , 2014
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Gujarat ‘balloon’ burst on Rahul lips

Kishanganj, April 16: The “toffee and balloon” war between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi intensified today when the Congress vice-president said the “Gujarat model balloon will burst”.

“The BJP believes that only one man has the solution for all problems. The rest of the Indians do not count,” he said while asking for votes for the Congress’s sitting MP, Mohammad Asrarul Haque, from Kishanganj, around 450km northeast of Patna.

Rahul’s message was clear for Modi. “Hindustan kow ullu banana bandh karo (Stop fooling the people),” he said.

Haque’s job has already been easy with the JD(U) candidate, Akhtarul Iman, announcing yesterday that he would not contest the election.

Launching a frontal attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Rahul said the Gujarat model could be called “toffee model” or “gubbara (balloon) model”, which is nothing but loot of public money to benefit biggies like Tata and Adani. Speaking for about 20 minutes, Rahul cited many instances to “reveal the truth” of the Gujarat model of development.

Elaborating his charge of the “toffee model”, Rahul said Modi had given away 45,000 acres belonging to poor farmers and the size of Purnea district to a single person (Adani) at a rate of Re 1 per sqm “which is equivalent to the price of a toffee”.

Modi gave away the entire stretch of land at a paltry sum of Rs 300 crore, the Gandhi scion claimed, adding that the prized land equivalent to the size of Mumbai and near the coast was given away to the same person for only Rs 30 crore. “Modi had also provided Rs 10,000-crore loan to Tata Motors for its Nano car project at 0.1 per cent interest, while the common man gets loan from banks at 12 per cent interest,” he alleged. He said the total budget of Gujarat for key sectors like health and education was not even Rs 10,000 crore.

On the contrary, Congress, Rahul claimed, has prepared its development model by meeting a cross-section of people. Rahul said: “A Bihari has a radar which can easily understand the intention behind what the politicians say and why. Bihar needs its own development model, not the Gujarat one. Our model is based on people and not based on one individual. We have learnt it after talking with people with love and affection, with honour and after bowing down our head before people unlike the BJP.”