With Arvind Kejriwal escalating his attack on Narendra Modi, the Gujarat government today dismissed as "falsehood" his claims on the scenario in the state, especially on farmers' and land issues, and said the AAP leader was "bluffing".
In a point-by-point rebuttal issued for the first time, the Narendra Modi government said the claims made by Kejriwal might get him publicity but will have no effect on the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate's "popularity" among people of the country. The statement issued in the name of Gujarat government spokesperson was released by the state unit of BJP, a day after Kejriwal announced his candidature from Varanasi at a rally and launched a fresh offensive against Modi on the state of affairs in Gujarat. "...He is bluffing which is in his political tradition. He might get some publicity but he will not be successful. People will give him a much-needed answer," the statement said.
Addressing a rally in Varanasi yesterday, Kejriwal attacked Modi of being an "agent" of industrial houses and said land of farmers will be snatched and given to corporates if the latter comes to power at Centre. "Kejriwal is saying if Modi comes to power, land of farmers will be taken away forcibly....Even the top court of this country has praised the state government's land policy," the statement said. The government said in Gujarat land was acquired at prevailing market price unlike in other states where "farmers are not even asked before acquisition of their land". "This is the reason why Gujarat is free from any agitation by farmers. This proves that Gujarat has pro-farmer policy," according to the statement.
On the issue of farmers' suicide, the government said the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) leader was making false claims. "When he (Kejriwal) came here (Gujarat), he said 800 farmers died in the state during last ten years, but now (in Varanasi) he increased the number to 5574," the statement added."...But the fact is that only one farmer has committed suicide due to crop failure...This is the finest example of Kejriwal's bluffs," it said.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal had undertaken a "fact finding" tour of Gujarat and summarily rejected Modi's claims on development in the state. The state government also refuted Kejriwal's claims that as many as 60,000 small and medium scale industries have shut shop in the state.