PM Narendra Modi and U.P. CM Adiyanath will ensure all-round development of Amethi as also rest of the State, Amit Shah says
BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday took on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi, questioning him over development in the “Nehru-Gandhi family bastion” despite his three generations getting elected from here.
Mr. Shah, joined by Union Minister Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, slammed Mr. Gandhi for “mocking” at Gujarat’s development and said he “cannot see development as he sports Italian spectacles.”
Addressing a public meeting in Amethi, the BJP chief said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Adiyanath will ensure all-round development of Amethi as also rest of the State.
“You have trusted a family for 60 years, now trust BJP and Modi and you will not feel betrayed,” Mr. Shah told the gathering in the presence of Mr. Adiyanath and Ms. Irani, who had lost to Mr. Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Amethi.
He said there were two models of development here — a “Nehru- Gandhi model” and the “Modi model.”
Amethi is known all over the world as a “Nehru- Gandhi family bastion” but there has been no development, he said.
Responding to Mr. Gandhi’s repeated posers as to what the BJP had done during its rule, Mr. Shah said, “the Congress ruled the country for 70 years. I want to ask you that you have been MP here for a long time, but why is there no Collector’s office, TB hospital and Akashwani’s FM here? Erosion of land due to Gomti river has not been stopped.”
Slamming Mr. Gandhi for questioning development in Gujarat, Mr. Shah said, “He is mocking at the development in Gujarat. I want to ask ‘Shahzada’ of the Congress as to what your three generations have given to Amethi? You sought account of our past three years, but people of Amethi are taking account of works done here by your past three generations.”
Taking a swipe at Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Shah said, “Rahul baba cannot see development as he sports Italian spectacles.”
He said the Modi government had launched 106 schemes over the last three years and named some of those.
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“For the first time in 35-40 years, I am seeing that the winning candidate [Rahul Mr. Gandhi] remains missing from his constituency and a defeated candidate [Ms. Irani] is giving time to the people,” Mr. Shah said hailing the work being done in the area by Ms. Irani.
“Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will develop U.P.,” he asserted.
Ms. Irani, while attacking Mr. Gandhi, said she wanted to address those who saw Amethi just from the point of view of votes.
She said Mr. Gandhi used to talk about development in the country and abroad and is mocking at Gujarat’s development, but the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here has not returned land taken from farmers.
“Rahul Gandhi, who used to talk about relief to farmers, did not return their land taken by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here,” the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Textiles said.
Referring to the closure of a cycle factory called Samrat, she said, “...the country was surprised that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Rahul, which did not do any commercial activities has purchased it. The land should be freed and given back to the farmers.”
Ms. Irani had created a stir in 2015 when she accused the top Congress leadership of usurping nearly 65 acres of land acquired from farmers for setting up a manufacturing unit, Samrat Cycle, a project that never materialised.
Noting that the BJP won four out of five seats during the 2017 Assembly polls when Mr. Shah had come here, Ms. Irani said, “In 2019 [Lok Sabha polls] BJP will win here.”
Ms. Irani led a high-voltage campaign against Mr. Gandhi in Amethi in 2014. Mr. Gandhi secured 4,08,651 votes against Ms. Irani’s 3,00,748.
Though Ms. Irani lost to the Congress vice-president in Amethi, she managed to reduce his victory margin from around 3.70 lakh in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014.
Mr. Adiyanath said, “We will leave no stone unturned in developing Amethi or for that matter the entire state.”
He also said no son-in-law or son will be allowed to grab land in the State, but did not take any names.
At Tuesday’s meeting, a slew of projects were unveiled for Amethi and a number of foundation stones were laid, days after Mr. Gandhi had during his visit here accused the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of re-inaugurating the projects launched by the previous UPA regime in the district.