Mandvi, Gujarat: Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in Gujarat for its tall development claims, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said that progress is nowhere to be seen here and the ruling party’s promises were “hollow and false”.
Sonia, who addressed a rally in this tribal dominated area of Surat district in South Gujarat said, “They (Modi and BJP) have no interest in poor and common people but its only interest is development of its own and a select few people.”
“The development which was promised in a big way is nowhere to be seen in this tribal land…because what they promised were hollow and false,” Sonia who is campaigning in the state before the first phase of assembly elections in Mandvi, said addressing a huge rally.
“This is a land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel who used to preach what they practiced. Now there are people who give big advice but not follow them,” she said taking on Modi without naming him.
Indicating large scale corruption in Gujarat, Sonia said that the Centre has provided a lot of funds to the state but we do not know where have they gone.
“We (Congres) have had a good relationship with the people of this area. Due to ongoing vested interest politics they (BJP) have constantly tried to weaken this relationship, but you all have negated their moves,” Gandhi said mentioning about the support of tribal population to the Congress in the
Attempts were made by Modi government to made inroads in the traditional vote banks of Congress the -tribal belts-by making various promises under the Van-bandhu Kalyan Yojana of Rs 15,000 crore.
Sonia questioned as to where has the huge promised sum in the Van Bandhu Kalyan scheme gone as nothing under the scheme has materialised yet.
“UPA government has been allocating 1000s of crores of rupees to various states, including Gujarat, without any bias. But nobody knows how this money is spent (in Gujarat),” she said.
“Why is poverty still looming in the tribal population of the state? Why there is no change in the lives, position and financial condition of tribal,” Gandhi wondered.
There are around 30 tribal dominated constituencies in the eastern parts of the state, which were on the radar of the Congress president, while she pitched hard for the traditional votes from there.
“There is no water in hill villages of tribal areas, the BJP had shown you the dream of building 2.25 lakh lakes and dams… where are they ?? Where is employment for the tribal people,” she asked.
The AICC president also said that Congress was responsible for the development of South Gujarat. The roads which you are seeing here are made under the Prime Minister rural road scheme.
Sonia said that Congress stood with the people of Gujarat at the time of drought, earthquake and cyclones.
She alleged because of the policies of BJP government, the hardships of the common man have increased.
“If the government attended to your problems, you would not have faced so many problems”, she said.
The Congress chief said the UPA government had waived off loans to the debt-ridden farmers but their condition in Gujarat has not changed because of the “anti-people” policies pursued by the BJP government.
“Our government is the government of the farmers. We have waived off loans for them,” she said.
Gujarat will vote for the first phase of polls on 13 December.