October 27, 2020 1:53:03 am
Chief minister Vijay Rupani on Monday attacked the Nehru-Gandhi family in his campaign in Dang and Kaprada assembly constituencies, saying that Congress MLAs resigned to “help the BJP get majority in the Rajya Sabha” and enable it to pass the laws like abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu Kashmir, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the law against triple talaq.
Rupani said, “It is your fate to hit the last nail in the Congress’s coffin, hit it and bury the Congress by making the BJP candidate victorious. They (Congress) gave false promises to the country. Jawaharlal Nehru said ‘aaram haram hai, we will give work’, and in the Congress regime, the army of the jobless was raised…”
He went on to attack late prime minister Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, saying, “She said, ‘Indira Gandhi aaye nayi roshni laayi, garibi hatao’ and the poor were sidelined and became poorer… then came Rajiv Gandhi, ‘Mr Clean’, and got tainted with the Bofors scam.”
Lauding former Congress MLA from Dang, Mangal Gavit, for his “sacrifice”, Rupani said, “When Mangal Gavit met us, he said, ‘Narendrabhai Modi is changing the country making new laws — abrogation of article 370, passing the bills in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, opening the doors to the Ram Mandir, starting work on it, the Parliament passing the CAA Bill, and a law against triple talaq… to take the country to greater heights, I am quitting the Congress, vacating my seat and joining the BJP…’.”
“This way, all eight MLAs quit the Congress and came forward to help the BJP,” Rupani said at the event where Gavit was also present. BJP has fielded Vijay Patel on the Dang seat to take on Congress party’s Suryakant Gavit, who is a Christian.
“The Congress is a sinking boat. Rahul Gandhi has proved to be an unsuccessful leader,” Rupani said. “In the Lok Sabha elections (in 2019), the Congress did not win even one of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. What can be a bigger fiasco than this?,” he said, adding that Congress leaders who grew tired of dynastic politics were joining the BJP.
“This is happening not just in Gujarat. In Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and 25 other MLAs joined the BJP. Scindia was also a tall leader of the Congress. Recently, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other leaders had raised questions over the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. They were served notices and were sidelined. In Gujarat, Shankersinh Vaghela, who was the Leader of Opposition, had quit the Congress with 13 MLAs in 2017 (before the Rajya Sabha polls) and after that more than 25 Congress MLAs have resigned from the Congress party. Congress is breaking and in the coming days, many Congressmen are ready to leave the party,” Rupani said.
Attacking the neighbouring Maha Aghadi Sarkar in Maharashtra that shares a border with Dang district, Rupani said, “Due to Covid, 40,000 deaths took place in Maharashtara… Our government worked hard and the death toll in Gujarat is around 3,000 and the recovery rates in Gujarat is 90 per cent.”
Rupani attacked the Congress for having caused the downfall of the Keshubhai Patel-headed BJP government in Gujarat in 1995 and later supported a government formed by Shankersinh Vaghela, who had quit the BJP to form his own political unit. “You made our BJP’s Shankersinh Vaghela the president of the Congress party in Gujarat… Now when Mangal Gavit has resigned, why are you so disturbed? It is important to understand the double standards of the Congress,” Rupani said, adding that the infighting within the Congress party led to MLAs quitting the party.
Earlier, while addressing a similar rally for the Kaprada bypoll in Valsad district, Rupani said that more defections will happen in Gujarat after the bypolls on November 3. On the Kaprada seat, BJP has fielded Jitu Chaudhary, who is one of the eight Congress MLAs to quit the party earlier this year.
“The MLAs have realised it is difficult to do people’s work while being in the Congress, because the party believes in keeping only one family happy. Jitubhai (Chaudhary) has joined the BJP for the betterment of his constituency,” he said while defending the defections. “Jitubhai joined the BJP in nation’s interest and not for selfish reasons.”
Apart from Dang and Kaprada, the bypolls will be held on Abdasa, Limbdi, Karjan, Morbi, Gadhada and Dhari Assembly seats. In his speech, Rupani also stressed that his government in Gujarat was a stable one with 103 BJP MLAs in a 182-member House. He also pointed out that the Congress’s strength has reduced to 65 MLAs.
“In the current year, our government had given land rights to the tribal farmers in tribal districts and they have been made owner of the agricultural land. Our target is to give land ownership to 1.50 lakh tribal farmers,” Rupani said.
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