Rahul Gandhi invokes Sardar Patel, slams Modi’s Gujarat model
Addressing a Patidar-dominated crowd, Rahul Gandhi said Gujarat had given Sardar Patel and it would have to play an important role in taking the country forward.Updated: Sep 26, 2017 21:23 IST
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi invoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister hailing from Gujarat, to woo people of the state which is bound for polls later this year.
Addressing a Patidar-dominated crowd donning skull caps with slogan written ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’ at Tankara and Dhrol, Rahul said Gujarat had given Sardar Patel and it would have to play an important role in taking the country forward.
“You (patidars) gave Sardar Patelji... Gujarat gave Sardar Patelji. Gujarat will have to take lead in taking nation to new heights,” he said.
Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi-promoted “Gujarat model of development” a failure, Rahul called for the return of the old Amul model, which he said catered to all sections of the society.
“Modiji’s Gujarat model has failed. We need old Gujarat model of Amul, which aims for development of all,” he said.
Amul is a brand owned by Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation which is jointly owned by 3.6 million milk producers in the state. It was set up in 1946 in response to the exploitation of milk producers by the only existing dairy Polson Dairy, and spurred White Revolution, making it the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products.
Amid chants of Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar, Gandhi recalled the deaths of 14 Patidar youths in clashes with police in 2015 while demanding reservation, and said, “When the youth asked for their right, BJP treated you with bullets... this is not the Congress way... Congress believes in taking everyone along.”
Gandhi also raised the issue of unemployment and farmers’ plight in the farm-rich belt of the state, which is dominated by Patidars who have been demanding reservation in government jobs and education under the other backward classes (OBC) category.
As Gandhi tried to woo Patidars, the BJP-led state government under chief minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday called groups involved with the Patidar agitation for talks.
Hardik Patel, the face of the agitation, said he would participate in talks with the government.
Rahul is on a three-day poll campaign Navsarjan tour of Gujarat and is scheduled to visit Khodaldham, the pilgrimage place for influential Leuva Patidars.
First Published: Sep 26, 2017 14:35 IST