"Modi's media campaign is remarkable. As per my knowledge, Rs 10,000 crore were spent just on media, such as full-page advertisements in major newspapers and campaigns on more than 500 TV channels," he said.
"BJP leaders claim they will bring black money back. I agree with them, as they are the ones who know where that money is hidden. They also know how that money can be used," Sharma said at a press conference here.
Modi, in his rallies, has been raising the issue of black money. Criticising the Gujarat model of development, he said, "In education, Gujarat stands 17th, in curbing malnutrition, it is last. It has the highest school drop-out ratio in India. With a debt of Rs 1,70,000 crore, it is the third most indebted state in India. This is the reality of Gujarat model." Sharma also accused Modi of spreading lies about UPA government's performance.
"From Rs 24,000 in 2004, India's per capita income now stands at Rs 69,000. From mere USD 500 billion, India's GDP stands at USD 2 trillion now. Our exports rose from USD 60 billion in 2004 to USD 300 billion in 2014. Foreign Direct Investment multiplied 15 times in last ten years under UPA government," he said.
Taking a dig at Modi over his pet project of Sardar Patel's gigantic statue, Sharma said, "Sardar Patel never supported the RSS ideology. I request that when his statue is made, (an inscription of) the letter written by him criticising the RSS be installed beneath the statue."
Sharma also refuted Modi's claim that the Centre was giving subsidy for meat export, adding that the state governments give permission to meat-processing units, not the the Centre. "As per Gujarat government's website, 25 million tonnes of meat was processed in the state last year," the Union Minister said.