Modi misleading Gujarat's people: Sonia

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 09:06 hrs

Kalol/Gandhinagar/Ahmedabad: Accusing the Narendra Modi government of neglecting the poor and farmers, Congress president Sonia Gandhi campaigning for her party for the second phase of elections in Gujarat here on Friday said the state government is making false promises to people and misleading them, while also denying adequate power supply to farmers.

The Congress chief also took on Narendra Modi's development plank, charging that the Gujarat government "misused" Central funds to benefit some business people leaving the common man in the lurch.

Addressing her first campaign rally for the second phase of elections, she said that UPA government provided 50 per cent more funds to Gujarat than the BJP-led NDA government.

Hits out at State's development

"To benefit some special people and businessmen, all these schemes were used for them. The common man is not being benefited," Gandhi said.

Gandhi went on to say that there was no adequate development in Gujarat while the UPA is even giving extra power to Gujarat for agriculture.

"But the Gujarat government is selling 800 MW power just for profit as over 4.5 lakh farmers await power supply," she said, slamming the state government.

She said even farmers are slapped with power theft cases and punished by the state government.

Modi misusing funds

Gandhi alleged misuse of central funds by the state government and said there are even reports of corruption as suggested in CAG reports.

"Here the accused are let off, innocents are framed," said Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress chief said about 20 lakh people are homeless in Gujarat while the state government made false promises of homes.

She said that Congress is not fighting for just power in Gujarat but for the development of the state. Gandhi also spoke in favour of a series of UPA initiatives like the RTI and RTE.

She accused Modi and his BJP-led government of failing to meet the aspirations of the people of the state.

"They (Modi and BJP) have no interest in poor and common people but its only interest is development of its own and a select few people. The development which was promised in a big way is nowhere to be seen in this tribal land...because what they promised were hollow and false," Sonia said.

She urged the people to vote for Congress which can bring out a change in the "sorry situation."

Sir Creek issue

Gandhi also parried the allegation of Modi that the UPA government is handing over to Pakistan the Sir 

Creek, which is a 96 km strip of water that is disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands.

She said no body would be allowed to play with security and integrity of India and there should be no politics over such issues. 

"Now you are provoking people over the country's national borders and security. Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi even gave their lives for sovereignty. I will not allow anyone to play with national security and integrity issues," she said. 

Modi had questioned the Prime Minister on what the UPA's stand is on Sir Creek, saying: "I had expressed my concern during the CM's conference in April this year, saying that what you are doing is betraying the nation."

"It was there in my speech but you were silent," said Modi in a poll rally.

The creek, which opens up into the Arabian Sea, divides the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat with the Sindh province of Pakistan.

The second phase polls in Gujarat is scheduled on Dec 17 while in the first phase on Dec 13, around 68 per cent voters cast their ballots.

Key focus in the first phase was on constituencies in Saurashtra region where Keshubhai Patel, former colleague of Chief Minister Narendra Modi turned a rebel who formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party, wields considerable power.

The counting of votes will be taken up on December 20.

Thursday's voter turnout is the highest in the elections held so far in Gujarat. The highest polling recorded earlier was 63.70 per in 1967 elections. In 2007, the voter turnout was 59.77 per cent. 

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