A combo picture of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi (Agency photos)
Making his first appearance in the Gujarat Assembly election campaign, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday unleashed an attack on chief minister Narendra Modi calling him a "marketeer" who does false propaganda claiming progress in the state.
"People's voice is not heard in Gujarat. The government of Gujarat and the chief minister do not want to listen to you. He wants to hear only his own voice. He has his dream and he thinks only about his own dream. A true leader makes people's dream his own dream," he said addressing a rally in Sanand, the town where Tata Motors relocated from Singur to make low-cost Nano car.
The Congress leader claimed that a false propaganda that Gujarat was making all round progress has been launched but contrary to it there is rampant corruption in the state, unemployment is very high and there is all round failure.
"The marketeer says Gujarat is shining. But tell me how many hours people get water? People get water for 25 minutes in every three days. But marketeer says Gujarat is shining. There are 10 lakh unemployed youth in Gujarat. But marketeer says Gujarat is shining," he said.
Rahul said voice of poor and down-trodden is suppressed in Gujarat as the leader does not want to hear common people's grievances.
"Gandhiji and Nehruji always wanted to hear people's voice. They were true leaders," he said.
The Congress leader claimed that even opposition's voice is curbed in Gujarat as the Assembly sits for just 25 days in a year and very often opposition leaders are thrown out of the House.
Rahul said there is no Lokayukta in Gujarat and 14,000 RTI applications were pending as government does not want to let any information come out as it would expose its true affairs.
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hitting the campaign trail in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday addressed election rally in the Narendra Modi-run state for the first time, the last day of canvassing for the first phase of polls.
Sonia and the Prime Minister have already campaigned in the state where the party is out of power for two decades.
Rahul, who has been the "number two" in the Congress, will soon take up an important responsibility in the party and the AICC has declared that he will lead UPA's campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The assembly elections in Gujarat are crucial for the party, where it is expecting to better its performance.
Congress has assiduously made an attempt to prevent polarisation of election campaign on communal lines and hence refrained from touching on the issue of post-Godhra riots this time, which it had used to the hilt in last assembly elections. Senior Congress leaders have been targeting Modi's development claims instead this time.
Addressing a rally in Siddhpur on Monday, Sonia also dubbed the Modi government as "anti-people" alleging that the BJP-led dispensation in Gujarat was indulging in "wrong-doings".
Attacking the development plank of Modi government, she said one should ask why more than four and half lakh farmers were not getting power connection despite the Centre providing electricity.
Polls in Gujarat will be held on December 13 and 17.