Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP of ignoring farmers and poor, says PM’s industrialist friends ‘cleaned money from banks’

Dholpur/Bharatpur: A combative Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging he gave “brooms to the poor” in the name of the Swachh Bharat Mission while allowing his industrialist “friends to clean money from the banks”.

Rahul also levelled a slew of allegations at the BJP-led Centre, claiming it failed to provide relief to debt-saddled farmers while wreaking havoc on the economy with his demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) moves.

He accused the prime minister of insulting the people by belittling what the country had achieved in the last 70 years.

The Congress president began a roadshow from eastern Rajasthan’s Dholpur district, considered the home turf of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, aiming to boost his party’s prospects in the assembly elections slated for 7 December.

Beginning the roadshow in Mania town, which shares borders with Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, he levelled allegations against the government on a range of issues ranging from the Rafale deal, law and order, and even the attack on people from other states in Gujarat.

The Congress chief said it was not a party or a person but the people who by the dint of their hard work made India stand up after Independence. “They were your parents and grandparents who put in efforts to make India stand but Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that nothing was done in the last 70 years. He says everything happened only after he came to power. How arrogant this person is,” charged Rahul at a public meeting in Bayana town of Bharatpur during his 150-kilometre long roadshow.

The Congress chief, in his public meetings during the roadshow, also said while Modi gave “brooms to the poor and asked them to clean India under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and at the same time, he asked top 15-20 industrialists to clean money from banks”.

Attacking the Centre’s economic and agricultural policies, he said, “Not a single rupee of farmers’ loans was waived by the Modi government” and the Make In India campaign had “failed” with even phones and T-shirts being outsourced from China.

The Congress wants phones to be made in India with the tag of ‘Made in Dholpur,’ he said.

Rahul said the prime minister during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had said he wanted to be a ‘chowkidar’ but never clarified for whom.  “Now people are laughing. He never told that whose chowkidar he wanted to be. They got to know later that Anil Ambani is being protected,” he alleged. Ambani-led Reliance Group has already rejected Congress’ allegations.

In Rajasthan, Rahul alleged that Modi benefitted 15-20 top industrialists of the country instead of the farmers. The Congress president reiterated his allegation on the Rafale deal that the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited was ignored and an “industrialist friend” benefitted from the deal which he claimed was finalised at higher prices compared to rates decided by the former UPA government.

He also alleged that people like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya had benefitted under the present dispensation.

Rahul claimed that Vijay Mallya had alleged he had met Union minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country. Significantly, Jaitley has rubbished any charges of impropriety.

He claimed the former UPA government waived off farmers’ loans worth Rs 70,000 crore but even as bad debt worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore were written off by the present government, not even Rs 1 of farmers was waived. “Former UPA government gave MGNREGA, brought a tribal bill, rights of food and information, meal to students in schools, waived off farmers’ loan worth Rs 70,000 crore. In Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot government introduced free medicine schemes but what Narendra Modi and Vasundhara Raje governments did for the poor?” he asked.

I went to the prime minister’s office only once and that too to raise farmers’ issues but Modi remained silent and did not utter a single word, he claimed. “Demonetisation and GST have finished the country’s economy,” he said continuing the attack.

Referring to law and order issues, he alleged, “A BJP MLA allegedly raped a woman in UP but the prime minister did not utter a word. They say Beti Bachao, they have forgotten Beti Padhao…BJP se Bachao (save from the BJP),” he said taking a jibe.

Targeting Vasundhara Raje, the Congress president alleged that Lalit Modi gave money directly to Raje’s son.  However, he did not specify when and why Lalit Modi allegedly paid Raje’s son Dushyant Singh.

On the attack on migrants in Gujarat, he said youths from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were being attacked and forced to leave. “Youth trusted Modi but Modi betrayed their trust,” he charged.

Rahul exuded confidence that the Congress would win the assembly elections in Rajasthan. He said the Congress government in the state will work as per people’s ‘Mann ki Baat’. He also urged people to form a Congress government at the Centre which would work for the poor, farmers and youths.

He said people should try making RSS and BJP understand that there is no benefit in “dividing” the country.

Congress state chief Sachin Pilot targeted Raje, saying she announced free electricity to farmers half an hour before the Model Code of Conduct came in force and asked where she was for over four and a half years. Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and other leaders were also present.

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