Hours after Congress president Sonia Gandhi criticised his government for suicides by farmers, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit back saying the ban on cotton export imposed by the UPA government earlier in the year had caused an estimated loss of Rs 7,000 crore to the farmers of the state.
“There are two governments before you. One is the Modi government in Gujarat and the other is the government run by Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. If Gujarat is criticised, it is on the issues of development, but the government in Delhi is criticised for corruption and scams,” Modi said, while launching his campaign for the second phase of Assembly polls by addressing a public meeting at Asarwa area in Ahmedabad on Friday.
“Sonia Gandhi came to Gujarat without doing her homework. I had given her a list of questions yesterday, but she could not pass in my exam,” Modi said.
Keeping up his attack on the Congress president, Modi said while the UPA was struggling to maintain a growth of 2.5% in agriculture, Gujarat had touched 11%. “When I came to power, Gujarat farmers were producing 23 lakh bales of cotton. Today, this has gone up to 1.23 crore bales,” Modi said adding that the Gujarat’s cotton fetches premium in the markets of China.
Countering Sonia Gandhi’s allegation about unemployment in the state, Modi claimed that the Congress, when it was in power in Gujarat, did not employ a single youth in the state government for 20 years. “In the last seven years, over 3 lakh youth have been employed in government jobs. An additional 26,000 youths have joined police ranks,” he said.
Taking on the Congress on the issue of FDI in retail, Modi said, “Once FDI is implemented, white-skinned people will start selling turmeric, pepper, etc to you. Traders will have to shut shop.”
“Though Congress won the FDI vote in Parliament on sheer numbers, traders of Gujarat will punish it,” Modi said.
Promising a sports university and a sports school in every district, Modi taunted the Congress for the country’s suspension from the the Olympic committee. “It is matter of shame that India cannot take part in Olympics.”
Appealing to people to vote for BJP, Modi asked, “Will you hand over the keys of your house to a stranger. Even if you are going out for 15-day holiday, will you hand over the keys? If your answer is no, how will you then hand over the keys of Gujarat to strangers?”