In a strong attack on Adani group perceived to be close to Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi said tonight that he had been given land equal to the size of Vadodara at throwaway prices and also the Gujarat coastline of the size of Mumbai coastline.
Without explicitly mentioning the group by name, the Congress vice president alluded to it when he said, "land equal to Vadodara was given to him. Do you know for how much? For Rs 300 crore. Coastline equal to Mumbai was also given to him."
He was asked specifically during the interview on Aajtak whether he was referring to the Adani group to which he said he would not like to name anybody.
Vadodara has an area of 149 square kilometers and the Mumbai coastline is 167 km long.
"When Gujarat grew, it was because of the small industries, because of movements like Amul and that is its strength. Now you see the Gujarat model, the turnover of one industrialist has grown from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore," the Congress Vice President said.
He went on to add that Modi's economic model is that the "entire money of the state should be given to two-three persons. This mindset is also dangerous for the country. I keep fighting against such mindset."
Though he did not name the Adani group, Rahul has in the recent days been attacking it.
Slamming Modi's development model, he said "the reality of Gujarat is that two-three industrialists are prospering" while people are dying in the state.
"Their (Modi's) focus is on benefitting three-four industrialists so that there is trickle-down effect. Trickle-down effect happened in the US also and it has gone bust," the Congress leader said.
He insisted that UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh had performed better than NDA even though there was slowdown in growth briefly because of global recession.
While listing a number of programmes and achievements of the UPA government, he said, "The reality is that we have been in power for 10 years... There will be little bit of anti-incumbency."
When pointed out that the election campaign had become personal, Rahul said he has "no interest in personal attacks and I don't indulge in that."
He added, "Narendra Modiji is a person. He has his issues. I have nothing to do with that. But he represents an ideology. This ideology pits one Indian against another Indian. That is dangerous for the country. My fight is against this ideology."
On the issue of corruption, he said it is a "reality" but it is time to stop talking and start action against it by building institutional frameworks.
He insisted that the UPA government and he himself had been working in this direction through initiatives like RTI, Lokpal, Land Acquisition Bill and MNREGA.
Targeting BJP in this regard, he said its manifesto talks about corruption but "show me one line which says what it will do.... Talking is one thing, doing is another thing."
"To fight corruption in reality is a long fight, I am doing it and will do," Rahul said.
He admitted that Congress was not matching BJP in the media blitz but maintained that he believes in the actual work.
Noting that the future of India is optimistic, he said the country is actually progressing well and "if we work with love, we will overtake China. But if we fight... The growth will stop."
Targeting Modi, the Congress leader said the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate says "all the decision-making should be bestowed with him and he will become 'chowkidar'."
Comparing this with his model, he highlighted the process of choosing candidates through the primaries system.
When it was pointed out that a candidate chosen by the primaries system in Gujarat had opted out finally, Rahul said the "entire idea" cannot be dismissed by "one anomaly".
He said his idea, modelled on the US system, had charged up the cadres. To a question on unparliamentary language used by leaders of Samajwadi Party, he said "extremism of any kind is dangerous" and "we are fighting against SP in UP."
Asked about his marriage, he said he would marry when he finds the "right" girl. "It is a matter of destiny."