GANDHINAGAR: Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela took a strong objection to Gujarat being called "India's growth engine" and claimed that it lags behind many states on several parameters, including education, job creation and agriculture.
During his speech in the Assembly today on the motion to discuss the Governor's address, Vaghela questioned the success of all Vibrant Gujarat Summits held here.
"At this year's summit, around 400 business-to-business and 300 business-to-government meetings took place. However if you look at the past, hardly eight to to nine per cent of all the MoUs signed have actually materialised. Vibrant Summits are used by the BJP for their own publicity and the common man does not benefit at all," Vaghela said.
"There are many states which are far ahead of us. Even after so many Vibrant Summits, we stand 12th in industrial output. We simply claim that Gujarat is India's growth engine. In reality, we are not even close. We can't become number one by simply talking about development," Vaghela said.
The senior Congress leader cornered the BJP-led Gujarat government on several issues by citing various reports in his speech. Vaghela even claimed that electricity consumption for agriculture has reduced in Gujarat.
"The Planning Commission report said that Gujarat's foodgrain and oil seeds production growth was only 1.5 per cent last year. Over the years, electricity consumption by farmers has reduced while electricty demand by industry has marginally risen. It shows that both the sectors are not growing as claimed by the Gujarat state government," Vaghela said.
In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vaghela warned him to keep his feet on the ground or else he would face Delhi-like debacles all across India. "Our tea-seller (chaiwala) PM wears a suit worth Rs 10 lakh, which is a mockery of poor citizens. He made false promises of depositing Rs 15 lakh in each citizen's account. I warn the BJP to keep its feet on the ground. Otherwise, people ill wipe them out from the country as they did in Delhi recently," Vaghela said.
Taking part in the debate, Gujarat Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ramanlal Vora asked Vaghela to first introspect on the debacle of the Congress in the Delhi elections.
"I am surprised that Vaghela is happy even after 63 Congress candidates lost their deposits after Delhi elections. They better focus on their own debacle," Vora said.
He claimed that the BJP government has always cared for farmers and never increased electricity rates ever since it came to power.