UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi attacked the BJP-led Gujarat government’s ‘anti-public policies’ while addressing people of 10 assembly constituencies of North Gujarat on Monday.
Although she raised issues corruption in the state government, she avoided naming any of the BJP candidates, as always.
Addressing the huge crowd — mainly farmers from rural parts of the constituencies — at the Gokul Foundation Technical campus, Sonia blamed the Gujarat government for not supplying enough electricity to farmers, despite help from the central government. She also alleged that although the Gujarat government sells 833 mega watt electricity, the farmers are deprived of enough supply to boost agriculture.
“The UPA government gives 3,128 mega watt electricity to Gujarat. It has given Rs1,800cr under two different related schemes, besides additional electricity for agricultural purpose to Gujarat. Do you know 833 megawatt electricity is being sold? Despite the Centre’s help, why is there no electricity for 4.50L farmers in the state and why there are 57 dark zones in Gujarat?” she asked. “There is some hera-pheri (wrong-doing) in it. Even CAG reports pointed out the same,” she said.
Pointing out the poor education, health and law situation in Gujarat, Sonia appealed to people to vote for Congress candidates and assured that they would work for the people and not for ‘political people’.
Cracking whip on the Gujarat government, she said that it works more for industries and less for the people of Gujarat. “The Gujarat government charges the highest VAT and pockets money worth crore. Despite earning so much money, why are 47% malnourished in Gujarat? Why is it that only 8% of families have been able to come out of below poverty line level? Why are so many youths unemployed in Gujarat?” she asked, amid a round of applause from the crowd.
She further said that despite support for electricity and two irrigation projects from the Centre, the farmers in Gujarat are facing electricity and water supply shortage. “Who is responsible for this situation? I don’t need to tell you who he is. You are wise enough to understand this,” she said without mentioning Modi’s name.
Speaking about Gujarat’s ‘anti-government’ policy, she said of the total JNNRUM fund, 16% is used only for one constituency in Gujarat. “You know which constituency I am talking about. They blame us for giving less funds to Gujarat. Let me tell you when NDA was in power, Gujarat received 50% less funds from the Centre,” she said.
She said she had come to Siddhpur to do something new. “This election, there is an opportunity to do something new. I am confident that you would vote for Congress candidates in all seats. They would work for the people of Gujarat,” she said.
Sonia was accompanied by Congress’s Ambika Soni, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Arjun Modhvadia, election campaign in-charge Shankarsinh Vaghela, among others.