Keshubhai slams Modi; asks him to declare foreign trip expenses
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) President Keshubhai Patel on Wednesday said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra should first make his expenses on foreign trips public before raising questions over expenditure incurred on Sonia Gandhi's foreign tours.
Patel, who has decided to contest the upcoming assembly elections from Visavadar in Junagadh district, told newsmen, "Modi should first inform the public the money spent from the state exchequer on his foreign trips. Then, he has the right to question about trips of others."
Modi had sought answers from the Centre regarding the Congress President's foreign trips, alleging that it had cost the exchequer Rs 1880 crore.
However, according to a Vadodara-based RTI activist Trupti Shah, the ruling BJP government in Gujarat had denied information about travelling expenses incurred by Modi and cabinet colleagues for attending a series of conference across the state in 2007.
When asked about his party's preparedness for polls, Patel remarked that GPP was ready to contest the elections from all the 182 Assembly constituencies.
Patel said, "even after organising Garib Kalyan Melas, the poor are suffering and are not happy. I have gauged the mood of the people and can assure you that in these elections, people will come out and vote overlooking the caste, community and religion factor."
The GPP had flagged off the "Parivartan Sandesh Yatra" from Virpur in Rajkot on September 27. The veteran leader said the yatra, which covered Junagadh, Amreli and Rajkot in its inaugural phase, will cover Kutch, Surendranagar and Bhavnagar, in its second phase.
He further said that till now, close to 12 lakh people have become members of GPP, adding that the target is to achieve membership of 15 lakh people by this month-end.
Stating that the people of the state want 'Parivartan' after years of "misrule", Patel accused Modi of misleading people with wrong figures.
Patel said that Modi, in his speech at Botad in
Bhavnagar, had said that 77 smaller dams will be filled with Narmada water at the cost of Rs 58,000 crore and in Rajkot while some days back, he had announced that dams in Saurashtra region will be filled with Narmada water at the cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
Alleging the state government of delaying the construction of Narmada canal network, the former BJP leader said, in the last three years, only 290 km of the canal network has been built and about 64,000 km of canal was yet to be constructed.
Under Modi government's rule, Patel alleged, there has been a rise in the number of unemployed youth in the state.
The process of holding three "Vibrant Gujarat" summits has not translated into jobs for youngsters, who have to migrate to bigger cities to hunt for jobs, Patel said.
On farmer suicides, the Leuva Patidar leader said that not a single BJP leader has visited the home of a farmer who was forced to take the extreme step because of state government's unfavourable policies, adding that his party will ensure that farmers get the right amount for their produce and are not exploited.
Keshubhai Patel had resigned from the BJP in the first week of August and formed GPP soon after, with an aim to bring about a change, and promising to be the first viable third front in the bi-polar politics of Gujarat.