A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a number of developmental schemes in Gujarat, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally at Gandhinagar, where he targeted the Prime Minister.
“This Gujarati voice is not an ordinary voice. This voice of Gujarat cannot be silenced or suppressed. You can offer any thing, (Rs) one crore, (Rs) 10 crore, (Rs) 50 crore, (Rs) 1000 crore, entire budget of India, entire money of the world, (but) this Gujarati voice cannot be purchased,” said Gandhi while taking a jibe at PM Modi, who hails from Gujarat.
“In the past also, there were attempts to suppress this voice. British tried to suppress Gandhiji, first in South Africa, then in Gujarat and India. But the voice of Gujarat drove out that superpower from the country,” Rahul added.
Rahul was addressing a rally which marked the formal joining of OBC leader Alpesh Thakor into the Congress.
Rahul attacked PM Modi and the BJP while referring to the bribery allegation made by Narendra Patel, an activist of the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
Patel, within hours of joining the BJP, alleged that he was offered Rs 1 crore by the BJP and was given a token amount of Rs 10 lakh. The accusation has been dismissed by the BJP.
“But today this (BJP) government wants to suppress Gujarat’s voice. They are so scared that they want to buy the voice,” Gandhi alleged, adding “Modiji, there is no price tag for this voice. Modiji you cannot purchase Gujarat’s voice.”
“There are thousands of youths in Gujarat who cannot remain silent now. They belong to all castes. There are two more youths like you (Thakor) – they are Hardik (Patel) and Jignesh (Mevani, a Dalit leader). Both of them cannot remain silent,” the Congress leader said.
Rahul also targeted BJP President Amit Shah and accused the prime minister of deliberately being silent about Jay Shah’s company.
The Congress has been wooing leaders of various communities like Hardik Patel, Mevani and Thakor. The party is inviting them to join hands with the aim of expanding its base by securing the support of Patels, OBCs and Dalits, and dent the BJP’s poll prospects in its stronghold.
In poll bound Gujarat, Modi had launched a stinging attack on the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family last week. Modi had alleged that the dynasty disliked Gujarat and Gujaratis were an “eyesore” for them.
(With inputs from PTI)