Gandhinagar, Nov 9: Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said demonetization and the GST rollout have "broken the legs" of Surat, as he observed a "black day" in the textile and diamond hub of the country.
The Gandhi scion had an interaction with industry representatives and workers at Nirman Industries' loom factory in Katargam industrial development area after he arrived in Surat city.
This is the third phase of his visit to the state which will go for assembly elections on December 9 and 14. Gandhi will be in the state for three days.
"There was an attack on India's economy one year back," Rahul Gandhi said.
"During the interaction with Surat's people I was told that demonetisation and then GST have broken Surat's legs. The industry was finished by the twin blows not only here, but in the entire country," Gandhi said.
"The people said that they are being threatened. But truth cannot be suppressed, it will come out," the Congress leader told the media.
"This is the place which can compete with China. Jobs will either come to India or China. But instead of helping them, the government has destroyed people's strength."
Hitting out at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout by the NDA government on July 1 this year, Gandhi said, "We had requested Narendra Modiji and Arun Jaitleyji not to implement the GST in the way they wanted to."
"This is not a political thing, this is not between the Congress and the BJP. This is about India's competitiveness, we have to compete with China. You please do not kill our industries and businesses. But they said that we are going to implement it at 12 midnight," he said.
"The media was asking us, why we are not allowing GST to be implemented -- because we wanted to save Surat and the country," he said.
"GST means one nation, one tax. But this GST by Modiji, which has five layers will not work. We had said that maximum cap on taxes should be 18 per cent but they did not heed us," the Congress leader said.
The Gandhi scion is also likely to participate in a candle-light vigil to mark the "black day" near Vivekananda statue in Chowk Bazar area of Surat.