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Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "silence" on a media report claiming that a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah's son Ajay saw a huge rise in its turnover after his party came to power in 2014.
Gandhi raised the issue as he began the second leg of his campaign tour in the poll-bound state from central Gujarat.
Gandhi, who landed at Ahmedabad airport this morning, travelled to the Hatijan area of the city from where he started his tour in a specially designed bus.
Referring to newspaper reports quoting a news website 'The Wire', Gandhi said the company owned by Shah's son grew 16,000 times in a short span.
"This is a strange world. In 2014, the company was nothing. Modi ji came (to power in 2014) and launched 'start up India', 'make in India', then introduced demonetisation and GST. This destroyed small businessmen and farmers," Gandhi told a gathering at Kamla village in Kheda district.
"But from this fire, one company comes up. It was nothing in 2014 but in a few months it became so big that this company's worth of Rs 50,000 rose to Rs 80 crore.
Referring to entrepreneurship in Gujarat, Gandhi asked whether Gujaratis, who are adept at running businesses, can do it.
Recalling Modi's assertion that he would neither engage in corruption nor allow it to happen, the Congress leader said, "Now when Amit Shah's son's company has grown 16,000 times, Modi ji has gone silent," Gandhi said.
"Modi ji had also said another thing (before the elections) that he does not want to become prime minister and be the 'chowkidar' (watchman) of the country's wealth. Now, where has the chowkidar gone?" Rahul asked.
The Congress vice president also hit out at the NDA government over the state of economy, and demanded that the rates under the Goods and Services Tax not exceed 18 per cent.
"In spite of our request to the Centre, they are charging rates of over 18 per cent under the GST....They should revert to the 18 per cent tax slab," Gandhi said, adding high taxes have ruined many businesses.
Demonetization resulted in the loss of business of many small traders, he said.
The famed Gujarat model of development had failed, the Congress leader said.
"Prime minister Narendra Modi and the people of Gujarat know that the so-called Gujarat model has failed. If we come to power, we will propagate the old Gujarat model under which cooperative societies like Amul developed," he said.
Gandhi also attacked the government over its failure to create jobs.
India, he said, is competing with China these days. China creates 50,000 jobs every day, but the country under the Modi government is able to generate just 450 jobs per day, he said.
"This is because their focus is on development of 100 big industries. When the Congress comes to power, it will develop small and medium scale industries which can create many more jobs," Gandhi said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)