02 December, Surat
Onion Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his visits to temples in poll-bound Gujarat. Referring to BJP’s pro-Hindutva leanings, he asked why would people prefer a “clone” when the original is available.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always been seen as a pro-Hindutva party, so if an original is available why would one prefer a clone,” Jaitley asked at a press conference in Surat.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has visited several temples in Gujarat during his campaign in the state for the assembly polls on December 9 and 14. The BJP has accused him of visiting the temples only for electoral gains.
Jaitley also said that the Congress was slowly getting extinct as it had lost several elections since its debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“While the BJP has maintained its credibility, the Congress is slowly becoming extinct,” he said.
Answering a query on allegations about possible EVM tempering, he said: “The results haven’t been out yet and they have already started making excuses for their defeat.”
The BJP leader said that foreign investments in the country had ebbed during the UPA government.
“Today, we have come up 42 positions in the world ranking of Ease of Doing Business. In 1990s, the reforms were taken under compulsion, but the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is undertaking the reforms by conviction.”
He said the UPA government was “the most corrupt government we ever saw”.
“It was a leaderless government. It was said that the-then PM was a PM in office but not in power,” Jaitley said.
He said Gujarat was a very important region for the BJP because the party had been winning and serving the state for more than two decades.
“During the eighties, politics of social polarisation was rampant here. The region got rid of that under the BJP government and we have been constantly trying to take it on the path of development,” Jaitley added.