Mahad: With shelling and firing by Pakistani troops continuing to claim civilian lives in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has done nothing to stop it despite "many provocations".
"Before the Lok Sabha polls, Modi used to speak of adopting an aggressive approach towards China and Pakistan.
Now, despite so many provocations, the PM is not doing anything for the last three months," he said, addressing his first campaign rally for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly elections at Mahad in Raigad district.
"When the Prime Minister was enjoying a swing with the Chinese President, thousands of their soldiers were occupying our land in Ladakh....," he said.
On Modi's recent US trip, Rahul said, "During the visit, the Prime Minister thought of how medicines on diabetes and cancer, produced by companies there, could be sold in India. "As a result, medicines costing Rs 8,000 will be available in India for Rs one lakh," the Congress leader said.
He also hit back at Modi for his Congress-free India slogan, saying it was "impossible".
"BJP says it wants to make India Congress-free. They do not realise that ideology of Congress, India and Maharashtra is the same. It is not possible to make India Congress-free," he said.
"BJP feels that only one person (Modi) can take India forward. It does not talk of taking forward any ideology," he said.
Rahul conceded that BJP's "marketing" was good. "As far as poll campaign is concerned, I must say their marketing is good," he said.
In his speech, Rahul did not mention former ally NCP with which it parted ways just ahead of the election. When it was pointed out that the Congress nominee in the area was pitted against Shiv Sena, Rahul asked voters to defeat the rival Sena candidate.
"A vote for Congress is vote for fast development of Maharashtra. Prithviraj Chavan is a leader with a clean image.
Maharashtra will progress under his leadership," Rahul said, apparently backing the former Chief Minister as prospective
candidate for the top job if the party is voted to power once again.
Later, addressing another poll rally at Ausa in Latur, Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi for
questioning the contribution of Congress in nation building.
"They are saying nothing has happened in India in the last 60 years. So much was done and this work was not done by a single person but by the people of the country. When they say nothing has been done in last 60 years, they are questioning you, the common man," he said.
"The Prime Minister comes here and speaks of the Gujarat model. Be it education or health. Show me one sector where Maharashtra lags behind (Gujarat). Maharashtra is ahead," Rahul said.
Comparing the style of functioning of former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Modi, when he was his counterpart in Gujarat, the Congress leader said, "There is a diference. Your CM did good work but didn't do any marketing.
On the other side (Gujarat), there was marketing." He said once voted back to power, Congress government would provide round-the-clock electricity to farmers, create 30 lakh jobs for youth and make available free medicines to the needy.