Amit Shah flays Rahul Gandhi for questioning Gujarat’s development
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Amit Shah flays Rahul Gandhi for questioning Gujarat’s development

The BJP chief was speaking at a youth outreach programme in the poll-bound state

india Updated: Sep 10, 2017 17:29 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Congress,BJP,Rahul Gandhi
Bhubaneswar: BJP President Amit Shah addressing party workers during the party workers' conference in Bhubaneswar on Friday. PTI Photo(PTI9_8_2017_000078B)(PTI)

BJP national president Amit Shah on Sunday hit out at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for questioning the saffron party’s Gujarat development model.

Calling Congress leader a ‘shehzada (prince)’, Shah said Gandhi should not question the BJP-ruled state’s development.

The BJP chief was speaking at a youth outreach programme at Pandit Din Dayal Upadhyay auditorium in Ahmedabad.

In an interactive session with party workers last week, Gandhi had taken a dig at the BJP’s claim that the western state progressed tremendously under its rule.

“The very place where Rahul baba addressed the workers is a testimony of development (witnessed by the state). During the Congress rule, the venue was next to a filthy stream. Today, it is a Sabarmati Riverfront. How can he question development of Gujarat?”Shah asked.

At the town hall event titled ‘Adikham Gujarat’ (Strong Gujarat), the BJP chief answered questions put forward by youths from across the state.

When asked about the Patidar agitation for OBC status, Shah said the issue has now turned into a political campaign.

“The matter should have been handled legally and constitutionally. But with elections approaching, you will soon see the agitation tilting towards a particular political party. They (agitators) have been exposed.”

Shah was referring to the apparent growing proximity between Patidar leader Hardik Patel and the Congress ahead of the assembly elections to be held in a couple of months’ time.

On the flogging of Dalits in Una by a group of self-styled cow vigilantes, the newly elected Rajya Sabha MP said, “If you refer to the government of India websites, you will see that Gujarat witnesses minimum cases of atrocities. The flogging incident was very unfortunate. The government has taken legal actions and I have full faith that justice will be done.”

On a question on demonetisation asked by a student through video-conference, Shah said, “Everybody is talking about 99 per cent currency notes coming back to banks. No one wants to know that the RBI never had more than 60 per cent of the total cash in circulation.

Now, accounts will be scrutinized for dubious transactions and most of the amount will be used for India’s development. The number of income tax payers during the Congress rule was 3.6 crore. It has now reached 6.3 crore’’.

Indirectly referring to popular anti-BJP campaign ‘Vikas (development) has gone crazy’, Shah appealed to the youth not to believe in social media campaigns and instead they should refer to the BJP website for official figures. He listed achievements of various sectors including education, GDP, agriculture to compare the performance of BJP and Congress governments.

During the event, the BJP connected youths from various cities. The party claimed to have received some three lakh questions through different online social platforms.

Shah answered 15 questions on the spot and assured to answer the rest on social media.

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 15:52 IST