Concluding his electoral campaign in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi of snatching the rights and lands of farmers, and handing them over to industrialists.
Gandhi said Modi had done all this in the name of development in Gujarat. "We are talking about 70 crore (700 million) people here. We are saying that 70 crore people are above BPL (Below Poverty Line) and below middle-class. We want to place them as middle-class. All our effort is to bring them under the middle-class category," said Gandhi on Saturday. "And, over there (in Gujarat), Narendra Modi is running the (so called) 'Gujarat model'. He gave land worth rupees 45,000 crores to an industrialist. Whose land was it? It was the labourers' and farmers' land. He threw them off their land. Today, those farmers and labourers work under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and eat the food through Congress Party's 'Right to Food' programme," Gandhi added.
Promising development for Chandauli, Gandhi said that unlike other political parties, the Congress wants to realize the dreams of the people. The state of Uttar Pradesh is expected to play a critical role in the results of the 2014 elections. The Congress Party is facing an uphill task to get re-elected after being a decade in power due to public anger over the economic slowdown, high inflation, unemployment and a string of corruption scandals.
The Narendra Modi-led BJP, on the other hand, is sensing victory, having campaigned on a platform of promised economic growth.
About 815 million people would have exercised their right to vote by time elections end on May 12. The results are due on May 16.