Launching a week-long campaign in poll-bound Gujarat, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday posed five questions to counter Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, all of which revolved around the Narmada Dam project and UPA-era grants to the state.
Addressing a rally in Gandhidham, Kutch district, Mr Shah said that Gujarat faced maximum discrimination during the UPA regime and people of Gujarat will remember that while voting for Assembly polls next month.
Mr Shah then posed questions to Congress vice-president, asking why permission wasn’t granted for completion of the Narmada project by the Congress government and why they had not permitted closing of the gates of Narmada dam. The other questions he posed were: Why was no special grant given to the Rann or salt marshes in the Kutch region?; Why was Gandhinagar not given central grant when UPA was in power?; and Why was crude oil royalty grant denied to Gujarat for many years by the UPA government?
Over the next six days, the BJP president will travel to 33 districts of Gujarat, beginning with Kutch, Morbi and Surendranagar on Saturday.
Mr Shah’s tour is a precursor of sorts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat campaign in the second week of November.
Mr Gandhi has been extensively campaigning in the state which will go for a two-phased polling on December 9 and 14.
Addressing supporters in Patidar-dominated Varachha, in the diamond hub of Surat, Mr Gandhi had said recently that the reality of BJP and Gujarat were two different things, and the fight was now between the two.
“You gave everything and wanted employment, education for your children, treatment for your ailment. Did you get it? Every time you click a selfie, a youth in China benefits,” he had said.
Saying that only the small and mid-sized businessmen of Surat “can challenge the China story”, Mr Gandhi termed demonetisation and the hasty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax as a twin attack on the people of the country.
The Congress leader promised to return to Surat on November 8, when demonetisation completes one year. His visit will clash with Mr Shah’s week-long travel plans in the state.
The Congress party has been assiduously wooing the trio of young leaders Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakore. While Mr Thakore has already joined the Congress, the other two have extended their support.