Rahul Gandhi began his two-day campaign in Gujarat on Wednesday with a visit to the famous Somnath temple, approached the Patidar community and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on dealing with Rafale fighter jets.
Mr. Gandhi went to an electoral demonstration in Visavadar in the Junagadh district after offering prayers at the Lord Shiva shrine in the evening in the Gir Somnath district.
Vice President of the Congress Rahul Gandhi offers prayers at the Somnath temple in Gujarat Wednesday.
| Photo credit: PTI
Referring to the turmoil of the 2015 quota in which 14 members of the Patidar community were shot dead by the police, Gandhi said that if someone raises their voice, they are hit or have to face bullets in Gujarat.
"All the communities are raising their voices here against the government, but what do you get if you raise your voice in Gujarat? You are hit, you have to face bullets," said Mr. Gandhi.
Visavdar is a constituency dominated by Patidar in the politically crucial Saurashtra region.
"I asked three questions to Modiji [on the Rafale deal]. First, there is a difference in the cost of the aircraft in the first and the second contract [signed with a French firm] please answer yes or no.
" Why Was the contract given to a private industrial friend instead of Hindustan Aeronautics? limited [HAL]? And did you seek the approval of the Cabinet Security Committee for the agreement? ", Asked Mr. Gandhi.
The vice president of Congress also sought to know if due process was followed before formalizing the deal with France last year to acquire combat aircraft.
Mr Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister was "avoiding" answering his questions "out of fear" that the "truth" will come to light before the crucial elections in his State of origin.
"Narendra Modiji does not answer these questions because he wants the truth of Rafale and Jay Shah [son of BJP chief Amit Shah] should not appear before the people before the elections in Gujarat, "he said.
A web portal had claimed that Jay Shah's signature turnover had experienced exponential growth after the BJP He came to power at the Center in 2014.
Describing Gujarat Prime Minister Vijay Rupani as the "rubber stamp", he said the government is headed by BJP president Amit Shah.
He stated that the government d e NDA delayed Parliament's winter session since Mr. Modi was not ready to discuss the treatment of Rafale and Mr. Jay Shah here before the Gujarat polls.
"In general, the Parliament session [winter] is held every year in November and discussions take place in Lok Sab ha and Rajya Sabha. But, for two reasons, Parliament opens after the Gujarat polls this time "said Gandhi.
He also criticized the Modi government for the problems of farmers and unemployment in Gujarat governed by BJP.
The elections for the Assembly of 182 members will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The vote count will be held on December 18.