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Rahul Gandhi slams PM Modi over demonetisation, GST in poll-bound Gujarat

He alleged the poor have no place in the 'Gujarat model' of development

Press Trust of India  |  Dwarka 

Rahul in Gujarat
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi waves at supporters during his road show at Bhatiya village in Dwarka district of Gujarat on Monday | PTI Photo

vice-president on Monday attacked Prime Minister over note ban, and the 'model' of development as he started a three-day tour of the poll-bound state where his party has been out of power for over two decades.

The 47-year-old leader, who started the day by offering prayers at the famous Dwarkadhish Temple here, interacted with people during a roadshow.

He also had a bullock cart ride on the Dwarka-Jamnagar route in Saurashtra where he was welcomed at several places.

was greeted by Hardik Patel, quota stir spearhead and a bitter critic of the dispensation in the state. Hardik welcomed to Gujarat, the home state of Modi, through a tweet this morning.

"ke rashtriya upadhyaksh Rahulji ka mae hardik swagat hai..Jay Shri Krishna (a warm welcome to vice-president in ..)," Patel tweeted.

In his short speeches at various places, assailed Modi over and a host of other issues.

He highlighted the issue of under the rule and promised to solve the problems being faced by if his party is voted to power in the state.

Gandhi, travelling in a specially-designed bus, sought to connect with villagers by interacting with them at regular intervals.

From Dwarka, headed to Hanjrapar, where he was accorded a traditional welcome by villagers. He even took a bullock cart ride to show solidarity with the farming community.

At Hanjrapar, he interacted with villagers and responded to some of their questions.

came down heavily on Gujarat's government on the issue of privatisation. He alleged the government has snatched the right of affordable education and health from the poor by introducing privatisation.

"Privatisation is happening in every sector under this government, be it education or health sector. Due to this policy of the government, poor people are not getting education or health services.

"The government must make sure that people are not deprived of these basic facilities," said in his brief speech.

He promised to provide free medicines and medical treatment if the is voted to power in

Accusing the government of being "anti-farmer", demanded that the government announce complete farm loan waiver for cultivators in

"If the government can waive loans given to businessmen, why not The Indian government gave away Rs 1.30 lakh crore to 15 large business houses while Rs 7 lakh crore in loans were not returned to banks. They (businessmen) will get all the benefits, while you (farmers) will be jailed for not repaying loans," said

The MP also posed questions to the media on the issue of farm loan waiver.

"The media questions my demand for farm loan waiver, claiming it will spoil I want to ask them whether the same applies to businesses or not. How come they do not get spoilt? I firmly believe if business houses are given relief, the must also get relief by way of waiver."

Before visiting Hanjrapar, made several halts along the route, including at Bhatia village. In his address there, slammed the Modi government for "failing" to address basic problems of people.

He said around 20,000 educated youths come out of institutes every day in search of jobs but the central government manages to give employment to only 400 of them.

"You go to any corner of this country and ask whether they get proper price for their produce. All of them will promptly say, no," said.

When the vice president asked people gathered outside his bus whether in are getting remunerative prices for groundnut produced by them, they responded with a resounding "No".

"Our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji declared without consulting anyone. This was a massive blow to our economy.

"were badly hit, as they do not do the transaction through phone or debit card. They use cash to buy seeds or pay to farm labourers," said

He claimed the (GST) has broken the back of small traders and shopkeepers.

said though the told the government to keep only one tax rate under the GST, it introduced five different slabs. He claimed lakhs of businesses have been shut due to the

He alleged the poor have no place in the 'model' of development, which according to him, benefited only a handful of businessmen.

"Business houses get everything, be it water, land or electricity. But, the poor are always neglected. This is the difference between them (the BJP) and us (the Congress). I promise our government will be of the poor, and the youth."

After Bhatia, reached Nandana village, where he addressed school children.

"Our country has made huge progress in the last 70 years. When we got independence, we did not have many good schools, big universities or companies. Whatever exists today is because of the hard work of your parents as well as grandparents," he said.

was accompanied by president Bharatsinh Solanki and AICC general secretary in-charge of the state Ashok Gehlot.

Tomorrow, he will visit towns such as Dhrol and Tankara by road before reaching Rajkot. is also scheduled to meet local milk producers and leaders of the cooperative movement.

Party sources said will campaign in the north, central and south later as part of the campaign ahead of the Assembly elections to be held later this year.

First Published: Mon, September 25 2017. 21:30 IST