Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday launched a veiled attack on West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, saying, “She betrayed the Congress.”
Training guns on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, he said, “Modi duped the poor.”
Despite criticising Mamata, he said, “We have old relations with Mamataji. She worked with my father. I respect her, and have no anger towards her, as she has a clean heart. She was in the Congress, and came to power with our help, but later betrayed us.”
He did not specifically mention any post-election alliance between the TMC and BJP, but instead, refrained from any personal attack on Mamata, fuelling speculation that the doors of the Congress were probably open for any post-poll pact with the TMC.
Refuting Mamata’s allegations that West Bengal was being deprived of central funds, he said, “Central funds meant for the poor have been given to West Bengal. But her government did not use it for the benefit of the poor. `26,000 crore was given to this state, which the state failed to utilise. The Food Security Act was also not implemented in Bengal. You did not get what you should have got. She was a successful Opposition leader, but a total failure as an administrator. It’s a shame,” he remarked.
Rahul charged Mamata with carrying forward the: “Legacy of the Left Front, where corruption was prevalent, as funds for development were misused.”
He alleged, “More than 20 lakh people were cheated due to the Sharada chit fund scam. But, she was shielding the accused, and there was no proper probe. There was another scam in teachers’ recruitment. Unless you belong to the TMC, you will not benefit. Congress workers are being beaten up, and any opposition to the state government suppressed.”
He also pointed out that during election campaign politicians were, “Abusing each other and spreading hatred,” while Modi, “Expressed anger, and preached communal politics, while duping the poor.”
Sharpening his attack on Modi, he remarked, “He has crossed the rivers, and reached a point of no return. He is only lecturing, and not willing to listen. He no longer talks about the Gujarat model, which is now exposed as a scheme to steal from the poor, and benefit some industrialists. He snatched land from the poor peasants, and gave it to an industrialist named Adani, at the rate of one rupee per square metre. He gave 45,000 acres of land to this man,” he alleged.
Accusing Modi of indulging in “divisive politics”, he commented, “He will evaporate the day his communal politics will be rejected.” Listing the achievements of both the UPA governments during the last 10 years, he claimed that for the first time, 15 crore people were, “taken out of poverty”, through various central government schemes and programmes.
“During UPA-III, we will ensure homes for everyone in the country and provide free healthcare. We have evolved a scheme to benefit more than 70 crore poor people, Those who are in unorganised sector and poor, will be raised to middle class section. A manufacturing corridor will be built, linking all the major cities in the country, which will provide jobs to the youths,” he said.