Becharaji (Gujarat), November 13 (IANS) Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday told a large gathering in this Gujarat village that just as demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) were launched by the NDA government at midnight, Gabbar Singh, the notorious villain of popular film “Sholay”, too attacked people at midnight.
“The drastic step of demonetisation was launched at midnight, the GST was also launched at the stroke of 12 midnight. Gabbar Singh too attacked villages at midnight,” he said.
Interestingly, one of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) members, Narendra Patel, was seen on the dais with him.
Gandhi continued, “During my visit to the state people have been pleading to me, with folded hands, saying please save us from Modiji. GST has crushed people. The present GST still needs to be restructured. The common man’s day-to-day commodities should be exempted from GST. There should be one single GST.”
The Gandhi scion, on the last day of his visit to north Gujarat, visited the World Heritage site of the step-well in Patan, Ran-ki-Vaav. On his way from Patan to Becharaji, he met farmers, farm labourers in Mela village, and also took some selfies with them.
In his Becharaji public meeting, Gandhi said, “Wherever Modiji goes, he brags about eliminating corruption in Gujarat. But when I went to Surat, many people came and told me that corruption is everywhere.”
Rahul Gandhi said, “All over the world fuel prices are dropping whereas in India fuel prices are hiked.”
Mentioning the ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme of Modi, Gandhi tried some words in Gujarati, “December Ma Congress Ni Sarkar Aave Che. Jyaare Amari Sarkar Aave …. (In December the Congress is coming to power. When our government forms…) we won’t be telling our ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to you but listen to your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. You won’t have to agitate for anything in our government.”
PAAS member Narendra Patel, who was seen on the dais with Rahul Gandhi, had recently alleged that the BJP state president had attempted to bribe him with an offer of Rs one lakh for joining the BJP.
This is the first time any PAAS leader was seen sharing the dais on any Congress function or event.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) Vice President is on the last and fourth leg of his three-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat. He will conclude his Gujarat tour by visiting the BJP bastion and the home of Patidar agitations of Mehsana and Visnagar.
Earlier in Patan, Gandhi told the media that just like magicians perform tricks which are mere tricks and not real, similarly Prime Minister Modi has been performing tricks in Gujarat on the people.
On Monday, he began his tour of north Gujarat by visiting the Veer Meghmaya temple and had ‘darshan’ there. After that, he interacted with Dalit leaders of Patan. The Gandhi scion continued his attacks on Prime Minister Modi and lambasted the central government on various fronts like demonetization, the GST, unemployment and corruption.
He was warmly greeted by villagers on his visit to Kungher village in Patan district. He even mingled with the local children and offered them sweets. Later, he visited the native village of a BJP cabinet Minister in Gujarat, Dilip Thakore, in Harij. People turned up in huge numbers to greet the Congress leader, who broke the security barricades to meet them.
In Harij, he also became part of a magician’s performance. Gandhi remarked, “Jadugars (magicians) have been earning money through tricks and Modiji too has been doing the same in 22 years.”
While interacting with the denotified tribes and their leaders, Gandhi said that the Congress will prepare their poll manifesto after consulting the Gujarati people. “Unlike others who just make people listen to their ‘Mann ki Baat’, the Congress will listen to other’s ‘Mann ki Baat'” reiterated Gandhi.
At a public meeting in Varana in Patan, Gandhi said, “In Gujarat, there are five to 10 industrialists who are not agitating, whereas all others are doing ‘andolan’ (agitations).” Before his public address, he visited the temple of Goddess Khodiyar in Varana. He also offered a ‘Chundadi’ and ‘Prasad’ to the deity.
He is to address a large gathering in Mehsana, the hometown of Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitin Patel and also the district of the hometown Vadnagar of Modi. Mansa, the hometown of the BJP national president Amit Shah is also located in north Gujarat. The meeting is much-awaited as it is the epicentre of the Patidar agitation.