Minister of State (MoS) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh on Wednesday, taking a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said the latter should visit Surat more often as his visit gives Bharatiya Janata Party more support. "There was an attack on India's economy one year back", he said. "For 15 long years, using a handful of photos, Rahul Gandhi and his party tried every trick in the book to pull down Gujarat", Shah said adding that they created an impression of Gujarat that never existed.
Repeating his criticism of the Modi government to readers of the leading financial daily, Gandhi described the prime minister as one of the "democratically elected autocrats" across the world, and said demonetisation had "wiped out" confidence in India's once booming economy.
Gandhi also argued that India can compete with the Chinese economic growth, manufacturing capabilities and blue-collar jobs mainly through its micro, small and medium businesses. "But instead of helping them, the government has destroyed their strength". "The undercurrent is strongly with the Congress as people now believe that the BJP government must go", said Bharatsinh Solanki, president of the Congress party in Gujarat.
Mr. Gandhi has chosen Surat where he would interact with traders, weavers and workers affected by the note ban and the GST.
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For the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, he said, the poor are the means behind which they hide their corrupt, elite and upper class nature.
He alleged that the GST has been "hastily imposed and poorly conceptualised", thereby "dealing another blow to our economy".
"It says in the Gita, "Do your work, don't worry about the fruits of your labour", but Modiji's interpretation is "eat up the fruits of others" labour, don't worry about doing any work'", Rahul said while addressing an election rally in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh. "We had said that maximum cap on taxes should be 18% but they did not listen to us", the Congress leader said.
Shah said Nand Lal had lauded the "historic step" taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to uproot corruption and black money. The opposition was observing a "black day" on Wednesday.