Rahul after being presented with a bow and arrow at the meeting in Dahod on Wednesday. (PTI)
New Delhi, Oct. 11: Congress leaders believe Amit Shah's foray into Amethi was a sign of desperation as the BJP chief did not have answers to uncomfortable questions being raised in election-bound Gujarat.
Shah led a power-packed team, including Union minister Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, for a mega political programme in Rahul Gandhi's constituency yesterday.
Today, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar asked Adityanath to pay heed to the deaths of children in his constituency Gorakhpur. Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond to the " Beta Bachao Abhiyan (save son campaign)" in the wake of revelations about the business dealings of Jay Shah, the BJP president's son.
Rajiv Satav, the Congress secretary in charge of Gujarat, told The Telegraph: "The people of Gujarat are asking innumerable questions and Amit Shah should come back and provide answers instead of wandering in Amethi and Kerala. They have no answers and, hence, are inventing diversionary ploys. Answer why people (in Gujarat) are saying ' Vikas gando thayo che (development has gone mad)', face the people here who are fed up with false promises."
In Gujarat today, Rahul reeled off a list of Modi's unfulfilled promises before an audience of tribals in Dahod: "Modi promised Rs 15,000 crore for the development of tribal areas in the 2007 Assembly elections and Rs 40,000 crore in 2012. Where is that Rs 55,000 crore? He promised jobs and house for all, you got houses? He promised electricity, drinking water. You got anything?" A resounding chorus of "No" followed every question.
Rahul added: "Modi, instead, made education and healthcare costlier in Gujarat by privatising these services. He made you enrich the corporates and wrote off their loans, too. He then brought demonetisation and GST to destroy farmers, daily-wage earners, small traders and industries. Achchhe din (Modi's promise of good days) came for only one company which turned Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore within a few months. Modi and Shah are direct beneficiaries."
The allusion appeared to be to Jay's now-shut company, whose turnover rose from Rs 50,000 in March 2015 to Rs 80.5 crore in March 2016, according to a news portal. The period coincided with Modi's ascent to power and Shah's appointment as BJP chief.
Rahul held several meetings today, the last day of his tour of central Gujarat described as a huge success. Rahul offered prayers in many temples, participated in singing bhajans and danced with tribals. He interacted with a wide range of social groups - students, businessmen, farmers, labourers, artisans and women.
At one public meeting in Chhota Udaipur, Rahul said: "People of Gujarat have now understood the truth behind Modi's image. There is a strong undercurrent in Gujarat. The ground is slipping from beneath his feet."
Congress leaders claim their main slogan - Congress ave chhe (Congress is coming) - has gained currency among the people.
Rahul will return to Gujarat in the last week of October for the third leg of his tour, most probably as Congress president, as hectic preparations are on to finalise his elevation. Most state units have already adopted resolutions demanding his appointment as Congress president.
Hardik case off
The Gujarat government has withdrawn a case against Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel accusing him of insulting the Tricolour in Rajkot in October 2015, according to PTI. Collector Vikrant Pandey said today he had ordered the withdrawal following "instructions from the government".