Rahul Gandhi woos Patidars, hits out at "Gujarat model" of development

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi being greeted by people at Rajkot on the second day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat, on September 26, 2017.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi being greeted by people at Rajkot on the second day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat, on September 26, 2017.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today kept up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat on the second day of a three-day visit to the poll-bound state and urged its people to lead the nation to greater heights.
Travelling through areas dominated by the influential Patidar community, Mr. Gandhi invoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Deputy Prime Minister,  who hailed from Gujarat, as went about wooing members of the community which had launched an agitation for reservation in jobs some time ago.
“You gave the country Sardar Patelji... Gujarat gave Sardar Patelji. Gujarat will have to take lead in taking the nation to new heights,” he said while addressing a series of meetings on the way from Jamnagar to Rajkot in the Saurashtra region. 
Mr. Gandhi said the BJP government in the state had opened fire at the agitating Patidars and committed atrocities against them.
"This is not how the Congress works. We will work with love and understanding. We will take everyone forward together. If Gujarat moves forward, it will be with everyone," he said.
The Congress Vice-President said Gujarat had been  built by its farmers, labourers, small traders and small shopkeepers. "If Gujarat has progressed, it is these people who made it possible. Today, the BJP government does not work for them, but for five or six of the richest industrialists in the country," he said.
Modi works for industrialists, not for common man: Rahul Gandhi
"He has fulfilled all the promises he made to them but not the ones he made to farmers, workers, the poor, the youth and others," he said.
"That is the Gujarat model of development that he keeps harping upon," Mr. Gandhi said. "He sells it all over the country and the world, but it is a flop here," he said.
Mr. Gandhi said the present Gujarat government is remote controlled from Delhi, and felt the people in the state were now yearning for a change.
"There is an undercurrent of anger against the present government, which is not being expressed openly because people are afraid but you will see it at the time of the elections. We will come to power this time, you will see, and we will work for the people of Gujarat," he said.
"Kem chho? Vikas ka kya ho gaya?" (How are you, what has happened to Vikas?), he asked at one place, in a reference to the popular memes on the theme "Vikas Gaando Thayo Chhe" (Vikas has gone crazy). The memes personify "vikas" as an individual, Vikas, who has gone crazy.
"And why has he gone crazy?" Mr. Gandhi asked the audience. "It is because of all the lies and the false promises," he said. "The people feel betrayed."


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