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Keshubhai flays Congress

Coming down heavily on Congress, former CM and senior BJP leader Keshubhai Patel has said the party had failed to eliminate poverty despite giving the garibi hatao slogan in 1971.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Rajkot
PUBLISHED ON APR 11, 2004 06:33 PM IST

Coming down heavily on Congress, former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Keshubhai Patel on Sunday said the party had failed to eliminate poverty despite giving the "garibi hatao" slogan in 1971.
 
"In 1971 parliamentary elections, Congress gave the 'garibi hatao' (eradicate poverty) slogan and thereafter ruled for over 20 years but it failed to eradicate poverty," he told reporters here as his car rally entered into Saurashtra.

However, under the BJP rule, the percentage of people below the poverty line has come down from 38 per cent to 26, he said.
 
Asserting that BJP-led government had made serious efforts for development in the agriculture sector, Patel said under Congress rule the total allocation to the sector was Rs 36,000 crore at an interest rate of 14 to 15 per cent.

The BJP government had, however, raised the allocation to Rs 82,000 crore at an interest rate of mere seven to eight per cent, he said.

Claiming positive response for BJP from people irrespective of caste and creed, he said a large group of Muslims of Jatwal area of Surendranagar district had assured him about their support for the party.

Farmers in remotest areas were able to get remunerative prices for their produces due to the centre and state government's efforts to provide adequate water for drinking and irrigation and this was the `feel good' factor, Patel said.

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