Siddhpur/Dakor: Targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for "anti-people" policies of his government, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused it of indulging in wrong doings with central funds and alleged it was framing innocent people. "The UPA government has given sufficient funds for several schemes on agriculture, development, water harvesting and land improvement projects to the state," Gandhi told a poll rally in the town of Patan district in north Gujarat.
"According to news reports, 'hera-pheri' (wrong-doing) is going on (in Gujarat). We have known about CAG reports (talking about corruption). There is large-scale corruption in Gujarat," Gandhi said, days ahead of the first phase of assembly polls.
Later, speaking at Dakor in Kheda district, she said "it has become a policy of Gujarat government to shield the accused and frame innocent people." "Sixteen per cent of the funds we have released under JNNURM for Gujarat had been spent in only one constituency of Gujarat. I don't need to name this assembly constituency, as you all know very well...You tell me isn't that gross injustice to other parts of the state?" she said.
Gandhi was apparently referring to Maninagar assembly constituency in Ahmedabad city from where Modi is contesting the elections. During the poll campaign earlier, the Congress chief had slammed the tall development claims of the state government, saying it is nowhere to be seen as promises made by the government were "hollow and false".
She also accused the Modi government of adopting "anti-people" policies. "The UPA government had waived loans of farmers, besides giving them other facilities. Then, why farmers in Gujarat are still under debt...The answer to this question is explicit...The policies of Gujarat government are 'jan virodhi' (anti-people)," Gandhi said.
Polling in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 13 and 17. On the law and order situation in the state, she said "due to the pathetic law and order situation, people feel unsafe. We will have to bring about a change in that."
"The UPA government has given a lot of money to your state for development works because it is the right of the people of Gujarat," Gandhi said. "But, with this, I also want to tell you that when the BJP-led NDA government was in power at the Centre, then in comparison to UPA, your state was getting 50 per cent less funds," she said.
Launching a sharp attack against the state government, she said "the Centre every year gives Gujarat 3,148 MW of power under the Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojana...But the government here has sold it at higher rates...and are you all aware how much electricity is being sold... 833 MW power is being sold."
"I want to ask that despite so much of assistance from the Centre, 4.5 lakh farmers in the state still do not have electricity connections...What is the reason?...Why 57 talukas in Gujarat are still dark?
"This BJP government, by imposing highest VAT in the country, is earning crores of rupees. Despite this, why 41 per cent children here are malnourished?..Why has only 8 per cent families in Gujarat been able to come out of below poverty line?" she said.
"Why even today, more than 10 lakh youths are unemployed here?..why educated policemen and other government employees have fallen victim to exploitation in the name of fixed pay?," she said.
"They have their own people...a select few people...to pass on benefits...a few close industrialists...there is no shortage of money...they have huge money with them but for the deprived and needy people of Gujarat, they don't have money...there is always a shortage of money," Gandhi alleged.
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