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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Gujarat is more corrupt than the entire country, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day visit to north Gujarat, ahead of the assembly elections next month.

assembly-elections Updated: Nov 13, 2017 09:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during a public rally at Chilloda village, some 40 kms from Ahmedabad on November 11, 2017.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during a public rally at Chilloda village, some 40 kms from Ahmedabad on November 11, 2017. (AFP Photo)

The Congress will criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi but not “disrespect” him, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in an election speech in Gujarat on Sunday.

“Whatever we do, spot Modi’s faults or disturb BJP, we won’t disrespect the Prime Minister’s position. When Modi ji was in Opposition, he used to speak with disrespect about the PM. That is the difference between us and them; no matter what Modi says about us, we’ll not go beyond a certain point as he is PM,” Gandhi was quoted by a news agency.

The Congress vice-president was referring to the BJP’s attacks on Manmohan Singh’s tenure as Prime Minister.

Gandhi, who is touring north Gujarat, alleged that the BJP’s development plan in the state had floundered. “We speak the truth, aur ye sach hai ke Gujarat mein vikas pagal hogaya hai,” he said. (The Congress speaks the truth and the truth is that development has gone mad in Gujarat.)

The Congress on Saturday claimed credit for the GST council’s decision to cut tax rates on 178 items, saying the government was forced to take the step under pressure from Gandhi and the “huge response” his campaign was receiving in poll- bound Gujarat. Gandhi also targeted Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani over share market regulator SEBI slapping a fine on his firm for alleged manipulative share trade, and asked the PM to speak out on the issue.

“Gujarat is more corrupt than the entire country. Surat businessmen told me that policemen come to their units every two minutes (allegedly to demand bribe),” he said.

The 47-year-old Congress leader was addressing a public meeting here in Banaskantha district on the second day of his campaign tour of North Gujarat.

“Jay Shah, son of (BJP chief) Amit Shah, increased the turnover of his company from ₹50,000 to ₹80 crore in a few months after the BJP came to power in 2014. The people of Gujarat know this cannot be done without corruption,” he said.

“Some days ago, the SEBI said your chief minister is beimaan (dishonest) and they fined him. Modiji used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khane doonga’ (I will neither take bribe nor allow corruption). Please open your mouth on this subject now,” the Congress vice-president said.