Priyanka blasts BJP over paper leaks, unemployment crisis in Gujarat

Banaskantha : Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over paper leaks and the unemployment crisis, in Gujarat’s Banaskantha.

While addressing Nyay Sankalp Sabha, she targeted the BJP on issues of education, employment, and governance. Gandhi expressed concern over the state of education in Gujarat, particularly highlighting the prevalence of paper leaks in exams.

She stated, “In Gujarat, there are mostly private schools. Labourers and farmers want their children to have employment and they work and take loans to get their children educated. Eventually, when the child goes to take exams, papers are leaked. The children have to wait for years, and the future looks uncertain. Leak pe leak…in Gujarat. In 10 years of the BJP government, there have been more than 14 paper leaks. There are 30,000 vacancies in the central government.”

Addressing the pressing issue of unemployment, Gandhi criticised the lack of job creation under the current government. She said, “In 10 years, the government didn’t give employment, and that’s why today we are at the peak of unemployment. More than 17 crore youth do not have jobs. All policies are for the benefit of the rich people.” She outlined plans for an apprenticeship programme and financial support for youth post-education, emphasising the need to support small and medium enterprises.

Gandhi also voiced concerns over the erosion of democratic values and the prioritisation of divisive rhetoric over substantive issues. She remarked, “Today, our constitution stands for equality, and now it is in danger. Your rights are at risk. India’s poor only get a 5 kg ration, big events, and fake promises. I am asking them what they have done in 10 years. We built AMUL, IIT, IIM, PRL and a lot of other institutes. The election is in India and they just want to talk about Pakistan. Prime minister pehle sirf jhoot bolte the, aab phizul baatein bhi karte hain. Today’s people don’t want Hindu-Muslim politics; they need elections based on electricity, education, and employment. One reality you see on television, but businessmen now own every television. No one will ask about the rising prices of tomatoes or oil. There are no reports on this.”

Challenging the status quo, Gandhi called for leadership accountability and the return to a time when public scrutiny was valued. She urged, “Bring back the times when people ask questions to leaders, like in the times of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.”

Banaskantha, a Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat, holds significant political importance. The Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat comprises seven Assembly seats — Vav, Tharad, Dhanera, Danta, Palanpur, Deesa, and Diyodar. With a population exceeding 31 lakh as per the 2011 census, the district boasts a population density of 290 people per square kilometre. The sex ratio is 938, with a literacy rate of 65.32 per cent. Among the population, men have a literacy rate of 78.15 per cent, while women stand at 51.75 per cent.

In the 2019 general elections, BJP’s Parbatbhai Patel won in this constituency with an impressive 6,79,108 votes. Congress’ Parthibhai Bhatol stood second with 3,10,812 votes, while Independent candidate Thakor Sardarji clinched the third position with 48,634 votes.

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