Rahul attacks Modi, says he is backed by business groups (Third Lead)

Rampur/Akbarpur (Uttar Pradesh)/Doda (Jammu and Kashmir), April 11: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Friday slammed BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his alleged links with Adani business group headquartered in Ahmedabad, saying Modi has cornered veteran BJP leaders and given more space to his big-business backers.

Addressing an election rally in Doda in Jammu region, Gandhi said the Adani group was “given everything” whereas senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh were “thrown out”.

Modi is reportedly close to Gautam Adani, promoter of Adani Group.

Gandhi also attacked Modi over his marital status, saying Modi had not once mentioned his wife’s name in the past.

“Narendra Modi has fought many elections in the past, but not once did he disclose the name of his wife nor even admit he is married,” he said.

Modi wrote Jashodaben as the name of his wife in an affidavit while filing his nomination papers on April 9 in Vadodara, Gujarat for the Lok Sabha election.

In his speech, Gandhi told the people that his ancestors belonged to Jammu and Kashmir and ppealed people of Udhampur constituency to vote for the Congress candidate, union minister and former state chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Azad and state Congress unit chief, Saifuddin Soz accompanied him.

In his second rally at Akbarpur, in Ambedkar Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi rubbished development claims by Modi. He said: “In Gujarat the textile industry got closed and farmers are dying of hunger. What development are they (BJP) talking about?”

In an attempt to boost Congress’ prospects in the Hindi heartland, Gandhi promised that if Congress is elected to power, it would extend its right to food programme to Uttar Pradesh.

“The UPA ensured that children throughout the country get food, but the Samajwadi Party did not implement the programme in UP fearing this might help the Congress in election. But once we are voted to power, we will ensure UP too benefits from the scheme,” he said.

Gandhi finished the day’s campaign with a well-attended road show in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. In the 10-12 kilometre travel, he stopped at different locations and shook hands with the youngsters.

He made short speeches drawing people’s atention to the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party’s chief Mulayam Singh’s comments that rape victims should not be handed out death penalty.

The youth participated in the road show in large numbers.

IANS