BANASKANTHA: Hitting out at Narendra Modi for dragging Pakistan into the Gujarat elections, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that rather than talking about foreign countries in his election campaign speeches in Gujarat the Prime Minister should say something about the state.
"The Prime Minister talks sometimes about Pakistan and sometimes about China and Japan. Modiji, this is the election for the future of Gujarat. Talk something about Gujarat too," Gandhi said while addressing an election rally in Tharad assembly constituency of Banaskantha district.
Rahul Gandhi's remark came in the wake of Modi's accusation that a group of Congress leaders met Pakistan's High Commissioner at party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's residence in New Delhi, before the latter called him (Modi) "neech".
Addressing an election rally at Sanand, Modi on Sunday said: "There was a meeting convened at Aiyar's residence where Pakistan's High Commissioner, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, (former Vice President of India Hamid) Ansari and (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh were present. The meeting lasted three hours."
"The next day Mani Shankar said I am a 'neech'," said the Prime Minister. Aiyar was promptly suspended from Congress' primary membership for the remark, and he also apologised for his comment.
Gandhi said that since the last 2-3 days the Prime Minister has "left behind all other issues and talks about only two things".
"During his entire speech half of the time he talks about Congress. You (Modi) claim that the country has been 'Congress-free' then why are you giving so much prominence to the Congress in your speeches?" he said, adding that Modi spends half the time talking about himself.
Accusing Modi of maintaining silence over the development of Gujarat, Gandhi said that despite it being election time in Gujarat the Prime Minister is not talking about development of the last 22 years under the BJP government.
"It seems that he has lost faith of the people of Gujarat. Speak about development at least for two-three minutes," he said in a jibe.
Gandhi said that BJP President Amit Shah "runs Gujarat by remote control" and even Prime Minister "is scared of him".
"The Prime Minister seems to be scared of Amit Shah. Listen to his speeches. He does not talk even a word about corruption," he said.