Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday termed the Gujarat model of governance destructive, divisive in nature and prayed to God to save the country from this model.
"God save the country from this model," Sonia Gandhi said reacting to BJP's claims of trying to replicate what Gujarat chief minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had done in that state.
The Congress president said the BJP's much touted Gujarat model is actually the 'Modi model' under which the common man is suffering in the state and prayed to God to save the country from it.
"BJP's chief campaigner is selling Narendra Modi model in the name of Gujarat. What is happening in Gujarat under this model? Sikhs living there since past 50 years were being forced to leave the state," Sonia said while addressing an election rally in Malwa belt of Punjab, reported PTI.
Modi has been wooing voters with promises to rouse India's economy from its slowest growth in a decade and create jobs for its booming young population. Opinion polls have projected BJP-led to do well in the polls.
In the latest large opinion poll, taken in the first week of April, the BJP and its allies were forecast to win a narrow majority in the 543-seat lower house of parliament.
Taking a dig at Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi said BJP might be trying to sell the Gujarat model in India but people must know destructive and divisive this model of governance is.
"Farmers are being displaced after snatching lands from them, villages are without potable water, children up to 5 years of age are malnourished, people earning up to Rs 11 a day are not kept below poverty line (BPL) category, big chunks of lands are being provided to favoured ones for peanuts," Sonia said.
"If this is BJP model of governance, country does not want this model of governance," said the Congress president.
She said if BJP is being recognised for dividing the country on religion, language and casteism, the Congress on the other hand is working for the rights of farmers, poor people and ensuring communal harmony.
Meanwhile, launching a sharp attack on Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi yesterday accused him of working “in partnership” with the Adani Group to corner Gujarat's resources and claiming credit for the sweat and toil of the people.
“Mr Modi and Mr Adani's partnership is all there is [to the BJP]. Everyone else, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Yaswant Sinha, Sushma Swaraj, have been distanced. Mr Modi gave 45,000 acres of land of farmers and labourers to Mr Adani at the rate of Re 1 per metre. Mr Modi gave Rs. 26,000 crore worth power contracts to the company, whose fortunes grew from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore. That is ten times bigger than the Gujarat government's budget on health and education. He gave your money and power to one industrialist, but did he give you jobs?” Rahul said at a rally in Amreli district of Guajarat.
He said the “Gujarat model” signified concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few. The “Congress' model” on the other hand was of inclusive growth and benefits for all irrespective of caste, regions or class.
Their claim was supported by a new data released by the latest National Sample Survey. The Survey data show West Bengal topped in creation of new jobs in the manufacturing sector among all States.
During the six years between 2004 and 2011, more than 40 per cent of new manufacturing jobs created in India were generated in the then Left-ruled West Bengal. In all, 58.7 lakh manufacturing jobs were created across India.
Of these, 24 lakh were in West Bengal. With 14.9 lakh jobs, BJP-ruled Gujarat was a distant second, shows the state-wise data accessed exclusively by The Hindu.