26 Sep 2017
Rahul Gandhi invokes Sardar Patel's contribution to woo Patels
Congress VP Rahul Gandhi began his Gujarat campaign with a three-day road trip through Saurashtra.
Saurashtra, mostly comprising of Patidars, has been a BJP stronghold.
Gandhi, while addressing the crowd dominated by Patidars, referred to the Patel community's contribution to national politics in the form of former Home Minister Sardar Patel.
He further stressed upon the important role the community can play in the country's progress.
What did Rahul Gandhi say to the crowd?
Addressing crowd in Tankara and Dhrol, Rahul called Narendra Modi's "Gujarat development model" a failure.
He said that the Amul development model, wherein 3.6 million milk producers in the state jointly own the brand to ensure everybody's upliftment, should be adopted.
He also condemned the death of 14 Patidar youth during the 2015 reservation clashes and said this is not "the Congress way."
But, Rahul Gandhi goofs up again
Gandhi blundered again when he said that Sardar Patel's "Statue of Unity" has been sub-contracted to a Chinese workshop and it will have "Made in China" written on it.
Larsen and Toubro Ltd, the project's contractors, had earlier clarified that the statue is being built in India. They are only using the bronze plates, which are 9% of the project's total value, from China.
What does the BJP have to say about Rahul's visit?
The BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya termed Rahul's Gujarat visit "dramatic as well as laughable" claiming that "it will only benefit the BJP."
Commenting on Rahul's abysmal poll record, he said 'wherever Rahul Gandhi campaigned', Congress lost.
He said Congress never gave importance to Gujarat's leaders, i.e., Vallabhbhai Patel, who they delayed conferring the Bharat Ratna on, and Morarji Desai, who they removed as PM.
What does Rahul Gandhi's tour of Saurashtra signify?
Rahul Gandhi's Navsarjan Yatra and theme "Yuva Rojgar, Kisan Adhikar" is pertinent as Saurashtra sends 52 MLAs to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.
By addressing issues like Patidar agitation for OBC category reservation, farmer anguish and the impact of demonetization and GST in rural areas, Rahul is tapping the growing distress against BJP rule.
It remains to be seen if this strategy will garner votes.