"Fake, hollow, shallow" is what Narendra Modi is all about, Congress on Sunday said, hitting back at the Gujarat chief minister for his attack on UPA and reeled out statistics to rubbish his claims on development.
"Modi is all rhetoric, lies and more lies. Making false claims and doling out fake promises. That is what Modi is all about. Fake, hollow, shallow. Empty vessels make most noise.
"No wonder Modi desperately tried to make so much, in his usual hollow rhetorical style in Hyderabad," former CLP leader of Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at AICC in New Delhi.
The Gujarat Congress leader said that while the chief minister "brags" being "development personified", his own government's reports and statistics depict a completely different picture than what he claims.
He said the latest economic data shows the poor have not benefited from Modi's development.
"The data shows that distribution of benefits of high growth have not been uniform across different strata of society. In Gujarat only the rich gets richer...Middle class and poor people have not benifited anything from Modi's so- called development model for whose propaganda he has hired American firms and spent billions of tax money," Gohil said.
The Congress leader said even Odisha, which has a much lower revenue base than Gujarat, has been able to reduce poverty by about 20% points between 2004-05 and 2009-10 as compared to just 8.6%, Gujarat could do.
"Planning Commission data also shows poverty reduction for the deprived, especially scheduled tribes and Muslims in Gujarat has been among the lowest in the country," he said.
Raking up the issue of Gujarat riots and in particular the Ishrat Jahan encounter case without naming it, Gohil said in a press note: "Modi's sins created conducive atmosphere for terrorists in Gujarat. In fact, Modi Government can kill innocent people .... saying they were on a mission to kill Modi."
Targeting Modi over issues of corruption and internal security, he said, "In its report, CAG has criticised Gujarat government for bad management and corruption in internal security."
Quoting from 2009 CAG report, Gohil said the audit watchdog had observed that "unprofessional approach and lack of annual planning" led to millions of rupees unspent in Gujarat given by the Central government.
"Modi tries to show his fake concern for security. In fact, Modi did not even present prospective security plan to the central government and as a result Gujarat did not get its due share of money for state police force," he said.
The Congress leader wondered on what basis the chief minister can advise the Centre "when internal security in his own state is badly managed." "There is great shortage of ammunition that his own government has admitted. Can wearing cowboy hats and going to border areas and making fake speeches solve security issues? Why has Modi's own government admitted that there is 100 per cent shortage of ammunition amongst state security forces in Gujarat?," Gohil asked.
Rejecting the BJP leader's criticism of UPA government's handling of Pakistan affairs, he said, "Actual foreign policy paralysis happened always during NDA regime led by Modi's party, the BJP."
"Lahore declaration was was signed on February 21, 1999 by then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee...it failed at the time of the Kargil War. BJP government continued to host healthy ties with Pakistan as even though Lahore Declaration miserably failed with the take-off of the Kargil War.
Interestingly, contrary to their current stand the BJP government again endeavoured for a healthy relation with Pakistan through the Agra Summit. However, even the Agra summit also failed," Gohil said.