Sonia slams BJP, but no direct attack on Modi

Seeking the support of people of Gujarat to make a "new Gujarat", Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched Congress party's campaign in Rajkot, Gujarat ahead of the state assembly polls due in December.

"Congress party has always accepted the Mahatma's ideals & followed them. We have miles to go ahead, but have come miles since 1947. Many people make many claims but no one has done as much for Gujarat as the Congress party has and people of Gujarat know it."

Ignoring the wild allegations and personalised attacks made by the BJP chief Minister Narendra Modi regarding her foreign trips, the Congress president instead decided to expose claims of development by the Modi government while attacking the BJP on a score of issues.

"What Congress has done for the development of Gujarat, nobody has ever matched it. It was Congress which brought refineries and industries in Gujarat. Narmada project was conceived by Pandit Nehruji and it is named after Sardar Patel," she said in her 22 minute speech delivered under scorching heat at Rajkot race course ground.

"Narmada water has not reached in Gujarat in last 10 years and farmers are committing suicide in Saurashtra," she said taking a dig at the Modi government, which has failed to build canal networks to take Narmada waters to the fields in parched Saurashtra and Kutch regions.

The Congress chief accused the the BJP government of ignoring the poor farmers in Saurashtra region and not extending the benefits  welfare schemes to them.

 "I am saddened that in the last five years none of the benefits of schemes have reached regions like Saurashtra and Kutch. The state government should send recommendations to centre quickly so that farmers here can get relief packages", she said.

Defending the diesel price hike and limiting number of subsidised LPG cylinders to 6, she asked why the Gujarat government is not slashing VAT on the petroleum products when Congress governments in various states have done so to reduce the burden on the people.

"It is known that Gujarat charges highest VAT."

She also defended FDI in multi brand retail saying it is meant to benefit farmers, who will get better price of their produce. "FDI will allow farmers to get the right price for their produce. Why are some CMs  attempting to deceive people on it. I wish to ask is it not the right of farmers to get the right price for their produce?"


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