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Morbi bridge collapse tragedy 'exposed' BJP's misgovernance in Gujarat, says Ashok Gehlot

"Before the bridge collapse incident in Morbi, deaths due to the hooch tragedy and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the BJP government," senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said.

Morbi bridge collapse tragedy 'exposed' BJP's misgovernance in Gujarat, says Ashok Gehlot

Vadodara: Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the Morbi bridge tragedy which claimed 135 lives has exposed the "misgovernance" of the BJP's 27-year rule in Gujarat. The senior Congress Observer for the next month's Gujarat Assembly elections also cautioned people against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which he said is misleading the people of the state. He also claimed the Congress' committed vote bank in rural parts is intact.

"The BJP has been ruling Gujarat for the last 27 years. But, this bridge collapse incident in Morbi has exposed their misgovernance. Before this incident, deaths due to the hooch tragedy (in Botad) and handling of the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the BJP government," Gehlot told reporters.

He demanded that an inquiry commission be set up under a retired or sitting High Court judge to investigate the bridge collapse.

The British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Morbi collapsed on October 30, claiming 135 lives, four days after it was thrown open to the public following renovation done by a private firm.

"It is surprising that no such inquiry has been set by the state government yet. As a result, the High Court has taken a suo motu cognizance today. I demand that an inquiry commission under a sitting or retired HC judge be set up so that the victims get justice," said Gehlot.

Earlier in the day, the high court took suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the bridge collapse tragedy and issued notices to the state government and local authorities and also sought a status report in the matter by November 14.

Arvind Kejriwal's AAP is losing steam in Gujarat

Commenting on Arvind Kejriwal and AAP's campaign in Gujarat, Gehlot said the AAP is losing steam, especially after the declaration of candidates.

"The situation in AAP-ruled Delhi is serious because of pollution while the AAP government in Punjab has completely failed. The AAP is now misleading people in Gujarat. People should remain cautious," he said.

On BJP's latest poll slogan "I have made Gujarat" which implies that the people of Gujarat have built this state, the Congress leader said the state was strong even before Independence.

Launching the BJP's campaign for polls in his home state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday came up with a new slogan in Gujarati - "Aa Gujarat, mai banavyu chhe" (I have made this Gujarat).

"Gujarat is made by Gujaratis (not by BJP). The state was strong even before Independence because of industries. But now, BJP's misgovernance is getting exposed," said Gehlot.

Congress is 'very much' on ground in Gujarat

On Congress' preparedness for the polls, scheduled in two phases on December 1 and 5, Gehlot said, "It is being deliberately spread by some people that Congress is not in the picture. We are very much on the ground and our campaign is also going strong. I can say with confidence that our support base in villages is still intact".

During his poll speeches in Gujarat, Kejriwal often tells people that voting for Congress makes no sense "as party leaders eventually defect to ruling BJP".

In the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections, the Congress won 77 seats while BJP 99 in the 182-member House.

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