Kollam/Alappuzha: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-RSS, but spared the Left saying that he had decided to contest from Kerala to give out a message that India is a country of many ideas and voices.
Rahul who addressed massive election rallies of the UDF at Pathanapu-ram, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha also said the Congress would stand by the believers.
He pointed out that there was an ideological fight going on between the Sangh Parivar forces on the one side and the Congress on the other. “No matter how many times you (BJP/RSS) attack us, we will use love and non-violence to convince you are wrong,” he said.
Listing out Modi’s failures in fulfilling any of the promises given to the voters five years ago, he said the prime minister could not give jobs to anyone. “He has given ` 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani which could have been used to pay for the job guarantee scheme for a year. A whopping `3.5 lakh crore was distributed to just 15 such persons, which is the money of the common man,” Rahul said.
He narrated the offers made in the Congress manifesto and said no farmer will have to be in jail for not repaying the loans. “A farmers budget will also be presented along with the common budget to address the issues of farmers,” he said and promised to tackle the woes of the cashew sector in Kerala.
Refuting the BJP campaign against the Nyay scheme evolved by the party, he said the income tax rates will not be hiked to implement the minimum income guarantee programme.
“We will ensure that `3.6 lakh will reach the bank accounts of the poor in five years. The money made by corporates like Anil Ambani by evading tax will be distributed to the poor,” he said. Term-ing the GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax,’ he said the Congress would reconstruct the tax system once it comes to power.
In his speech at Pathanamthitta, he did not directly refer to Sabarimala, but said, “the Congress will not hurt the sentiments of the believers. The rituals should be preserved and the party supports the believers,” he said. His party wants an India "where people can express what is there inside their heart as long as those expressions are peaceful and non-violent," Rahul said.
Later, addressing a rally in support of UDF candidate Shanimol Usman in Alappuzha, Rahul said, “I will not say anything against the Left. They (Left) did not undermine any institution. They did not destroy the Constitution.”
He reiterated the benefits to farmers planned under the Nyay scheme and said Modi had taken away the money from the pockets of farmers through demonetisation and put it in the pockets Ambani. Nyay will take back this money and conduct a ‘surgical strike’on poverty. “The scheme was announced after consultation with world-renowned economists. I asked them how much money the Congress can really give to the farmers. Modi promised `15lakh for every citizen. It was a lie. It will never happen. If `15 lakh is given to each citizen, the economy of the country will collapse. The Congress economic committee said that through the Nyay scheme we will be able to give `72,000 annually to each to the poor farmers. The scheme will not destroy the economy,” he said.
Stating that the Congress would honour each fishermen family who suffered due to the cyclone, Rahul said that a separate ministry for fishermen would be set up if Congress was voted to power.
“The DNA of the country is compassion. But the RSS and the BJP plan to build the country under one ideology. Only the Congress can beat them. I respect all religions and cultures. But the BJP says they will create a Congress-free country. We will not say so. We practice politics of tolerance,” he added.
Criticising Modi’s frequent trips to foreign countries, Rahul said that the prime minister was wearing expensive piece of cloth every day. “You can see him is sitting with Nirav Modi, Mohul Choksi and Ambani. Have you ever seen Modi hugging a farmer? Have you ever seen Modi apologising to farmers and traders for the losses he caused to them though the implementation of GST?” he asked.
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