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With the political rhetoric of the 2014 polls getting shriller with every passing day, references to the Adani group and Robert Vadra are emerging as key talking points for the Congress and BJP to hit out at each other with.
Taking the battle to another level, the BJP on Sunday came out with a booklet and a CD titled Damadshree on the alleged land deals of Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.
Read: BJP brings out video on Robert Vadra, Priyanka hits back
The move came just five days after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s strong defence of her husband at a rally in Rae Bareli.
While the attacks on Vadra breached the unwritten code of not dragging non-political family members of leaders into poll debates, the Congress attack on industrialist Gautam Adani is an effort to punch holes in Modi’s claims of economic success in Gujarat. “It is also a message to the business lobby that if Modi comes to power, crony capitalism will be encouraged,” said a Congress source.
Read: In Rahul, Kejriwal crosshairs, Adani says he got no special favours from Modi
The BJP’s attack on Vadra began last year when former finance minister Yashwant Sinha led the party’s charge in the Lok Sabha: “Though there are several business schools... there is one highly connected person who did not go to any such school but has given a model where windfall gains of thousands of crores are made with no investment.”
The Congress, which initially relied on government statistics to counter the Gujarat CM’s claims on his state’s development model, has intensified its attack on the “Adani-Modi nexus” from this month. At almost every rally—even in rural areas — Rahul Gandhi refers to the Gujarat model as a “toffee model”.
Read: Gujarat development model a 'toffee model', says Rahul Gandhi
“Land of Aurangabad’s size — 45,000 acres — has been given for a mere `300 crore. This is a toffee model, not a Gujarat model. For `1, you get a toffee here. There land was sold at `1 per (sq) metre,” Rahul said in Maharashtra’s Latur on April 15. He also likes to say, “Advani out, Adani in” to highlight how Modi has ignored senior leaders in the BJP.