Rahul Gandhi: You tried Narendra Modi, now trust Congress to take India forward

Oct 03, 2018, 12:01 IST | PTI

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi invoked Mahatma Gandhi's ideals of adherence to truth and communal harmony to hit out at the Narendra Modi government

Rahul Gandhi: You tried Narendra Modi, now trust Congress to take India forward
Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of following divisive politics and making false promises, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the people "tried" the BJP leader but his government "got punctured" and it was time to trust the Congress to take India forward. The Congress president invoked Mahatma Gandhi's ideals of adherence to truth and communal harmony to hit out at the Modi government and alleged the prime minister was fighting against the same ideals for which the Father of the Nation sacrificed all his life and took three bullets.

Addressing a rally here to kick off the Congress's programmes in the 150th birth anniversary year of the father of the nation, Rahul Gandhi also targeted the Modi government over the Rafale fighter jet deal and on issues related to defaulter businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. "The thieves of India, with the help of Narendra Modi, turned lakhs, crores of black money into white. Modiji took money out of your pockets and put it in the pockets of (fugitive businessmen) Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya," he said.

"You tried Modiji (gave a chance to him). The vehicle (the Modi government) failed, got punctured, its engine exploded, it did not work. He broke your trust...now you trust the Congress, the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi to take India forward," Rahul Gandhi said at Wardha in Maharashtra, where Mahatma Gandhi's Sevagram Ashram is located.

The Congress chief also led a march, covering a part of the four-kilometre distance in his vehicle and the rest on foot, to mark Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary and to give a message against what the party called the "atmosphere of fear" in the country. Senior party leaders K C Venugopal, R P N Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia, state unit president Ashok Chavan, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and others joined Rahul Gandhi, as he began the march after garlanding a statue of the father of the nation near the district collector's office. Rahul Gandhi was greeted by thousands of people who waved at him and jostled with each other to catch a glimpse of the Congress leader.

People as well as Congress workers lined up both sides of the road, giving some tough moments to Gandhi's security personnel. Wardha district has traditionally been a bastion of the Congress. The party leadership was in Sevagram village, located around 10 km from Wardha district headquarters, to attend the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Tuesday.

The Congress is seeking return to power at the Centre and also in Maharashtra following its drubbing at the hands of the BJP in last polls. On soaring fuel prices, the Congress chief accused Modi of taking money from the pockets of the common people and putting it in the pockets of "15-20 richest" individuals. "The chowkidar (watchman) is doing it and doing it for them (the rich). He (Modi) is not a chowkidar, but bhagidar (partner in crime)," he alleged. Reacting to his charges, the BJP said the Congress leader was a "tape recorder of lies" and his party's fortunes will go down as swiftly as he resorts to "falsehoods" to target the Modi government. Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of insulting Mahatma Gandhi and every citizen of the country by stating in his Independence Day speech that "nothing had happened in India" before he became the prime minister.

"Gandhiji talked about uniting the country. Modiji talks about breaking up the people of the country," the Congress chief said. He alleged the prime minister pitched one religion against another, one community against another and spread hatred among people. "Gandhiji insisted on speaking the truth...I want to ask you, when Modiji made the promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in the account of every person, was he speaking the truth or did he lie?" he asked the crowd. The Congress leader alleged Modi also "lied" by promising to create two crore jobs every year and giving a fair price for farm produce.

"When I asked Modiji about the Rafale deal (in Parliament), Modiji avoided eye contact. He would look here and there, up and down. But Modiji could not speak by looking the nation in the eye, because he was lying," the Congress chief alleged. The Congress chief also accused the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of writing off loans worth Rs 3.20 lakh crore of "15-20 richest people", but not granting loan waiver to farmers. He promised that his party would waive farm loans if it was elected to power. On demonetisation, Rahul Gandhi said, "all the friends" of the prime minister entered the banks "through the back door" and turned their black money into white, while the common people lined up outside the banks to deposit the scrapped currency.

"The thieves of India, with the help of Narendra Modi, turned lakhs, crores of black money into white. Modiji took money out of your pockets and put it in the pockets of (fugitive businessmen) Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya," he said. On the soaring fuel prices, the Congress chief accused Modi of taking money from the pockets of the common people and putting it in the pockets of "15-20 richest" individuals. "The chowkidar (watchman) is doing it and doing it for them (the rich). He (Modi) is not a chowkidar, but bhagidar (partner in crime)," he alleged.

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