Jamnagar (Gujarat): Only one voice was heard in Gujarat, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday in an attack on Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
“The voice of the common man is not heard in Gujarat. The chief minister of this state wants only to listen to his own voice. He has his own dreams which he thinks of implementing. A true political leader on the other hand implements the dreams of the populace,” said Gandhi, addressing his first campaign rally in the state.
“There is no democracy in this land of Mahatma Gandhi. The assembly barely functions for 25 days in a year. Even when it functions, the members of the opposition are thrown out, fearing that they would expose the wrongdoings of the government,” Gandhi said in this city, about 300 km from the state’s main city Ahmedabad.
“Gujarat does not have a Lokayukta. RTI (Right to Information) applications are not accepted. Because the voice of the people is not heard here,” he said.
Gandhi said the power of Gujarat was in its youths and its poor but that strength was being suppressed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Gujarat is not run by one man but by the people of the state,” he said.
Gandhi also criticised the Gujarat government for neglecting important issues such as availability of water and jobs.
“Gujarat is shining but here you get water for 25 minutes every third day and 10 lakh youths are jobless.”
Praising the Congress-led central government for bringing the RTI Act, he said corruption cases in Gujarat would have remained hidden had it not been for RTI.
“People talk of corruption. We implemented RTI because we wanted to give voice to the common man,” he said.
“We gave the tribals their land back. We gave food to the hungry,” he added.
After Jamnagar, Gandhi will head to Amreli and Ahmedabad to address public rallies. Gujarat goes to polls Dec 13 and 17. The results will be out Dec 20. Campaigning for the first phase of the elections closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday.