BJP riding on Army: Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “exploiting” the valour of jawans and their sacrifices for political gains. While addressing the public rallies for Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal Lok Sabha UDF candidates Shashi Tharoor and Adoor Prakash respectively at Central Stadium here in Thiruvananthapuram, Mr Gandhi resorted to a hard hitting speech against the BJP government. The Congress president had not commented on Pulwama terrorist attack in rallies at Pathanapuram, Pathanamthitta and later at Alappuzha.

“This is not a political issue. I refuse to exploit our martyrs and jawans. Prime Minister Modi exploits the valour of our jawans for his own political gains. If the Army and Air Force carry out an action, the credit is fully theirs,” said Mr Gandhi.

Earlier, he said the party will stand by believers and did not say anything against the LDF government in state.

He was in no mood to soften his stand where he went on to add that it is shameful that the martyrs and jawans are not being given their due credit.

“It is they who gave their blood and it is their families who suffer. They deserve the credit. No one else,” added Rahul Gandhi amid applause from the massive crowd.

While unleashing a tirade against Mr Modi, the Congress president demanded to know why `35,000 crore given to a pauper like Anil Ambani was not given to the youths in Kerala as educational loans. He also recalled the yeomen service rendered by the fisher folks when the state experienced its worst floods last year, and demanded to know why `35, 000 crore was not given to them.

He maintained that the Congress is realistic, compared to the tall claims made by Mr Modi who promised to pay black money of `15 lakh to people. The Congress president termed Nyay scheme as Congress’ “surgical strike”.  He alleged that the money taken from the people’s accounts were being given to Anil Ambani who walked away with the `35,000 crore Rafale deal bypassing Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

"Congress never gives false promises. Be fair to everyone is our policy. We don’t lie like Modi. Not a single farmer will be arrested for non-payment of loans in 2019, when the Congress comes to power. `72,000 per year is the money a government can give to poor. In 2019, 20 percent of the poor are going to get `3.60 lakh in five years,” he said amid applause from a packed Central Stadium.

Congress president took a jibe against the BJP central leadership for their frequent rhetoric, "Congress Mukth Bharat".

“Not a single Congress leader will call for BJP Mukth Bharat. When we defeat the BJP it will be through love and care. People of all religions have the right to stand by their beliefs,” Mr Gandhi added.

While referring to the head injury of Mr Tharoor on Vishu day, Mr Gandhi said he was quite worried when he got hurt.

“But I’m happy to see that he is back in action. I appreciate his spirit. He has represented so well in Parliament where he had debated and his ideologies had been represented. Congress and the people of Kerala can be proud of Mr Tharoor who is a priceless possession. So we have to ensure his victory from Thiruvananthapuram,” Mr Gandhi said.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala promised to Mr Gandhi that Kerala would send the maximum number of UDF MPs to Parliament. His speeches made in Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanapuram were translated by 39 year old Jyothi Vijayakumar, who has often been his translator during his previous trips to the state. Daughter of Congress leader D. Vijayakumar, Rahul Gandhi had requested her to accompany him during his Wayanad road show on Wednesday, seeing Jyothi’s excellent translation skills.

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