Agra, April 15: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi kept up his attack on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s “toffee model” of development that only helped the rich at the cost of the poor.
Addressing a public rally at the historic Ram Lila ground opposite the Agra Fort, Gandhi said it was a clash of ideologies in this election with the Congress ideology “moulded and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar, while their (the BJP’s) ideology was centred around (Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram) Godse, riots in Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar, Maharashtra and other parts”.
Since Gandhi arrived five hours late from Maharashtra, the crowd had thinned out. The rally finished around 10 p.m.
Speaking about his vision, he said: “We want progress with egalitatianism, reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor. Their 2004 balloon of India shining burst pathetically and again in 2009 they were defeated. 2014 will be no different. The balloon will burst again.”
Talking of the toffee model, Gandhi said 45,000 acres of land belonging to farmers given to one industrial house at Re.1 per square metre, the cost of a toffee.
“As a people, there was nothing wrong with Gujaratis who are hard-working businessmen, but the model now being imposed in that state has hit the small units and business has suffered. Farming land is being acquired for the industrial houses.”
Gandhi promised that UPA-III will give an international airport to Agra, one hour fast train to Delhi, and a software park in the Taj city. “Shoes, watches and other products will not have Made in China tag, but Made in Agra,” he said, adding the “toffee model” means that “the Taj Mahal will be handed over to some capitalist”.
Our top three priorities after the elections are “free medicines and free hospitalisation by law, a roof for everyone, and pension to all senior citizens.
Gandhi said all he needed was “love and one or two kurta pajamas from you.”