AHMEDABAD: Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan today termed the Gujarat model as "Modi model", which he said supports "crony capitalism".
He also alleged that Gujarat has been "lagging behind" on Human Development Index (HDI) and on social development parameters.
"The 'Gujarat Model' is actually the 'Modi model,' which (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji is trying to replicate (elsewhere) in the country with only one person running the government, taking decisions single-handedly whether it pertains to the economy or foreign policy," Chavan told reporters at a press conference here.
The former Maharashtra chief minister alleged the "Modi model" was actually helping big industries to grow.
"Modi model means crony capitalism which is facilitating the growth of big industry, giving them big projects, purchasing their materials at higher prices, taking them abroad and helping them collaborate in foreign countries," the former Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
Chavan said though big industry is needed but it should not be at the cost of the poor farmers. "We need big industry but it should not be at the cost of snatching land from poor farmers and giving easy loans to corporates," the Congress leader said.
Chavan said the BJP believed in the "trickle down approach" wherein the poor will get some benefits after the rich became richer contrary to the Congress' approach of a "direct attack" on poverty.
"Our (erstwhile) government at the Centre had introduced many policies like Food Security Act to ensure that the poor get the benefits," he said. Chavan said Gujarat was "lagging far behind" other states on the social development parameters due to its "flawed model".
"Isn't it true that Gujarat is lagging behind on social development parameters? Even when compared to Maharashtra, it (Gujarat) is a laggard," Chavan claimed citing Human Development Index (HDI) reports which had said that Gujarat slipped from the sixth position to 11th rank after 2002.
"As per 2008 and 2015 HDI reports, Gujarat slid to the 11th position from the sixth rank. The state is ranked 19th in the (availability of) household TV, internet connection, mobile network. It ranks 18th in (terms of) literacy, 22th in primary school enrollment, 23rd in infant mortality rate and 11th in maternal mortality rate," he added.
Attacking the prime minister, Chavan said Modi and his friends are "running away" from discussing the issue of development and are instead talking about temples, an apparent reference to the BJP leadership's criticism of Rahul Gandhi over his visits to temples in the poll-bound state.
"They are lying about our former prime ministers. It doesn't suit a prime minister to talk about our former prime ministers in such a tone," he said. During his campaign tour, Modi had criticised former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi--both from the Congress--on various issues.
Chavan also slammed the BJP for "maintaining silence" on the questions raised by the Congress vice-president pertaining to the socio-economic development.