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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday invoked freedom fighter and India’s first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to woo the voters ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls.
Gandhi took on the incumbent BJP government asking whether it seriously believed in Sardar Patel’s ideology. “If it did,” he said, “the Gujarat government would never have introduced and passed the anti-farmer agriculture laws.”
Addressing party workers during the ‘Parivartan Sankalp Sabha’ in Ahmedabad, Gandhi said: “Throughout his life Sardar Patel fought for farmers, laborers, and the common man, but the BJP government is acting exactly opposite to his ideology. How can they be called Sardar Patel’s followers? They have built the tallest statue of the Sardar but failed to understand his beliefs, philosophy and ideology.”
He added, “Have you ever heard of Sardar Patel taking permission from the British for his protests or agitations? The BJP claims it believes in Sardar, but in its regime, people have to take permission for agitation and protest, which Sardar would never have tolerated. Had he been alive today, he would have asked you to dethrone the BJP that imposes such restrictions.”
Gandhi also took the BJP on over the twin issues of unemployment and inflation. He said the Congress party promised jobs to 1 million youths, 300 units power free to general consumers, free power to farmers, gas cylinders at ₹500 ($6.25), setting up of 3,000 English Medium Schools, and free education to girls. Besides, he said, the Congress will give ₹4 lakh ($5000) compensation to the kith and kin of those who died due to Covid.
He also pledged to create an environment in which small and medium scale industries will flourish, as he believes small and medium industries can create more jobs than mega units.
Gandhi also appealed to Congress workers to stand with the people of Gujarat who are “facing heat of inflation, unemployment and harassment at the hands of an arrogant government.”
“This time the people are in no mood of repeating the ruling party,” he said, adding that they want to overthrow the BJP from power, but that is possible only if the Congress workers stand with them and help “bring back people’s government that works for them.”
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