Continuing his tirade against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, dissident BJP leader Keshubhai Patel today called him a "demon" who is responsible for the misery of common people of the state.
"Narendra Modi is a demon who is responsible for the misery of common people of Gujarat. As per our ancient tales, the life of demons used to be in some bird. To win the fight against such demons, the hero has to kill the bird. In the same way Modi's life is in your votes. Do not give him vote and he will be finished," Patel said at a gathering here.
The former Chief Minister turned 84 today and hundreds of people gathered in the city to celebrate the occasion.
"Somebody gave me a suggestion that I should sit quietly at this age as I have achieved everything in my long political career. But I saw people are suffering and in these circumstances I cannot sit at home," Patel, who is leading the anti-Modi group within the BJP, said while addressing a 'Parivartan Sammelan' in the city.
Anti-Modi leaders are organising 'Parivartan Sammelan' in the state to mobilise support for political change in Gujarat after the upcoming Assembly polls.
"Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had told Modi to follow `Rajdharma' (after 2002 riots). Looking at the situation in the state and suffering of people I have come to conclusion that I should follow `Praja dharma'," Patel said.
The veteran BJP leader has already announced he will soon float a new party and has received support of other Modi detractors like Kanshiram Rana, Fakir Vaghela, Suresh Mehta Nalin Bhatt and Gordhan Zadafia.
"When I was Chief Minister, the tax income revenue of Gujarat was Rs 7,000 crore. Today the tax collection has gone up to Rs 50,000 crore. However, this Government, instead of providing benefits to the poor and needy people, is favouring big industrial houses," Patel alleged.
"This Government reduced the per child food supply under the mid-day meal scheme at schools from 215 grams to 150 grams. Children and women are suffering from malnutrition but this Government is not interested in solving their problems," the former Chief Minister maintained.
"There are 10 lakh unemployed youths in the state. If my party comes to power, we will give them jobs or unemployment allowance till they find jobs."
The Modi Government has not reduced VAT on petrol and diesel to lessen financial burden on people. With every increase in prices of petroleum products, the state's income also rises and the burden is passed on to people, he said.
"The situation has become intolerable. In spite of increase in tax collection, nothing is being done for the poor and needy people," Patel stated.
"The CAG report says this Government has mis-spent more than Rs 45,000 crore. The report indicates that some sort of corruption is going on in the state," he alleged.