“There cannot be a comparison between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Modi has a lot to say. Rahul Gandhi has nothing to say. … Modi had an hour to speak, in which he said a lot, while Rahul Gandhi could not even say anything meaningful in the 15 minutes he spoke for,” Punj said.
“Rahul Gandhi should know that his party has shattered the dreams of the people of this country, and is most likely to see his dream of becoming prime minister fade in 2014,” he added.
Punj said Rahul’s speech in Baran, Rajasthan, seemed to be similar in content to the “Garibi Hatao” promises made by his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi 42 years ago. “Nothing (seems) to have changed for him,” Punj said.
“Has hunger been eradicated from the nation since 1971, especially under Congress rule? I don’t think so,” said Punj, while questioning Rahul Gandhi’s tall claims of realizing the dreams of the poor. Punj demanded answers from Gandhi as to why these dreams are yet to be realised. Gandhi had earlier in the day said: "Whether he is a small labourer, we say that he should eye the helicopter and one day say that my son should fly this. This is our thinking. And their (opposition) thinking is that the labourers should work the land, not have anything to eat and construct roads." "Dreaming big is not the opposition''s mantra," he added.
The Congress vice-president further appealed to the women to dream big for their children.
Gandhi, while praising the Congress Party, for coming out with its historic Food Security Bill, accused the opposition of repeatedly creating hurdles to prevent its passage in Parliament. Gandhi said the 21st century for the Congress Party means that the dreams of the poorest of people in the country must come true.
He pointed out that the major reason for poverty in India is illness. "We respect your blood and tears, that is why we have brought the Land Acquisition Bill," he said.
Congress leaders Gurudas Kamat, Ashok Gehlot, C.P. Joshi, Jitender Singh and Sachin Pilot and Lal Chand Kataria were present on the occasion.
Poll-bound Rajasthan is expected to witness a fierce battle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP).
The upcoming assembly election in Rajasthan is being seen as a litmus test for both parties ahead of 2014.