Dahod: Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly sympathising with those who raised anti-national slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and asserted that the people of Gujarat would never support his party in the upcoming assembly polls.
Addressing a gathering of tribals as part of the BJP’s Gujarat Gaurav Yatra – march for honour – Ms Irani accused former Congress governments at the Centre of stalling the Narmada project while Narendra Modi was the Gujarat chief minister, just out of grudge.
“The entire country had witnessed how Rahul Gandhi rushed to extend his support to those who chanted Bharat tere tukde honge (India you will be broken into pieces) in Delhi. Since this is the land of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi, I want to know if this land (Gujarat) will support Rahul (in the polls),” Irani asked. The crowd responded with a resounding “no”.
Gujarat is likely to go to polls in December.
Reacting to Mr Gandhi’s charge that no “real development” had taken place in Gujarat under the BJP rule, the Union Minister for Textiles and Information and Broadcasting said the Congress leader remembers the state and its people only when elections are around the corner.
“Though Gujarat had fought for Narmada project, the work could not be completed in 55 years… Railways did not give permission to lay canals in Rajkot and Anand (during the UPA rule).
“The Congress did that out of its grudge against the BJP. It decided on not giving water till the party comes to power in Gujarat,” said Ms Irani.
The Union minister added that the party wanted to settle scores with PM Modi.
“People of Gujarat will never forget what the Congress did to them. They did not give water as they wanted to settle their score with Modi. Gujarat will not forget that one son of this soil – Sardar Patel – united this country while their (Congress’) son supported those who want to break this country,” she said.
Comparing Mr Gandhi’s constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat to counter the Congress vice president’s take on the development in the state, she alleged that farmers there were shot at for demanding urea.
“What is his definition of development? In Amethi, which has been a Congress stronghold for the last 50 years, farmers were shot at when they demanded urea. Gujarat might also remember how bullets were fired on farmers in Congress-ruled Maharashtra for demanding water,” she said.