Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday tore into Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi on his home turf, tangentially comparing him to Adolf Hitler and directly accusing him of being anti-poor-- “only shinning for industrialists”.
Also lambasting his political rival for appropriating the legacy of Sardar Vallabhai Patel,who was “rightfully part of the Congress” pantheon. It was by far his most acerbic attack on Modi. Rahul seems to have realised that the only way he can grab attention in this election season cacophony is to go straight for the jugular, telling Modi that his ‘developmental work’--a plank on which he is seeking a larger national mandate--is all but a disaster. Rahul did not name Modi once, but the Congress scion left very little room for doubt as to who he was referring to when he said, “India does not need a security guard, the people of this nation need their rights.”
Accusing Modi of peddling a model that only shines for the well-heeled, the Congress vice-president went on to add, "Is stealing land from the poor considered safeguarding their interest? Is that what a watchman does?-Taking away a farmer’s land without compensation is chori (stealing) not chowkidari."
Modi had famously told a rally in Delhi that he was happy to be a “watchman” of the nation.
Rahul, quite like Arvind Kejriwal prior to him, took on Modi on his claims, calling his development model one-sided. “Gujarat is shinning, but only for a handful of people. It is not shinning for the poor or the women,” he said.
Rahul has clearly identified the youth and women as his two key vote banks, fashioning his campaign around the aspirations of the two. Talking of the need to step up manufacturing so that jobs can be created for the youth and bring in a rights regime that makes women’s position in society a bit more secure and central. The BJP-RSS complaints to the Election Commission notwithstanding, Rahul displayed a ‘devil-may-care’ aggression, even as he talked about the “humility of Gandhi as against Hitlerian arrogance”.
“There are two types of leaders--one who meets people, visits their homes, like Gandhiji did and understands them, their problems. Such a leader is humble and has no arrogance.”
“And there is the other type, like Hitler, who believed there was no need to learn from the people. Whatever happened in Germany was done by Hitler and people had nothing to do with it,” he said.