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Jan Akrosh Rally: Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Narendra Modi’s ‘No Agenda’ China Visit

Congress president Rahul Gandhi set the stage for the 2019 showdown with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning the PM’s silence on various issues.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:April 29, 2018, 11:15 PM IST
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Jan Akrosh Rally: Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Narendra Modi’s ‘No Agenda’ China Visit
Congress President Rahul Gandhi speaks at the 'Jan Akrosh Rally', in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Jan Akrosh Rally on Sunday, questioning the PM’s “silence” on issues ranging from the Doklam standoff to the recent spate of rapes in the country.

"Modi ji did not speak a single word on Doklam during his visit to China. What kind of prime minister is he? He had tea with Chinese President and held meeting without a single agenda. In Doklam, China is making helipad and extending airport and the Indian PM is there conducting discussions without agenda. Our PM hasn't spoken a single word on Doklam in China," said Gandhi, addressing his first rally in the national capital after becoming the Congress president.

Gandhi’s comment comes close after Modi and Xi Jinping agreed to issue "strategic guidance" to their militaries to build trust and enhance "predictability and effectiveness" in managing border affairs. "The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in all areas of the India-China border region in the larger interest of the overall development of bilateral relations," the Indian statement on the Modi-Xi informal summit had said.

Further targeting the prime minister, Gandhi sought to compare the performance of the governments led by his party with that of the Modi dispensation at the Centre. "Prime Minister Modi gave unemployment. Their 'Gabbar Singh Tax' has broken the spine of middle class and small entrepreneurs.”

Gandhi said farmers were under stress, but their loans were not written off by the government, which, he added, waived of debts of corporate houses. "I met him (Modi) on the agrarian issues and personally requested him to waive off farmer loans. He didn’t even reply to me,” Gandhi said, adding that the Congress government in Karnataka had done so in 10 days.

“Only the Congress can save the farmers. Modi says Congress hasn’t done anything in 70 years. What have they done in these 60 months? The RSS and BJP spread violence, whereas the Congress believes in love. In 70 years, we have strived to provide security to Indians, including Dalits and Adivasis. This is our work and that's what Congress has given to India," Gandhi said.

Gandhi claimed that the BJP would be unseated in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and suffer a drubbing in upcoming Karnataka assembly elections. "In Karnataka, Modi speaks about corruption even as BS Yeddyurappa, who has been to jail, stands just beside him…. Modi will be forced to leave Karnataka. We will win Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and even 2019 general elections," Gandhi said to loud cheers.

Gandhi also hailed Congress workers, saying they have laid their lives for "truth and the country" and described them as "sher ka bachha" (lion cubs).

Referring to the incident in which an aircraft carrying him to Karnataka's Hubballi nose-dived before landing safely, Gandhi said he thought of God at that time and added he will undertake Kailash Mansarovar yatra after the Karnataka polls.

Before Gandhi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and ex-PM Manmohan Singh also addressed the supporters and attacked the Modi government over “unfulfilled promises”.

Hitting out at the PM, Sonia questioned what happened to his "Na khaoonga, na khane doonga" (will not engage in corruption myself, nor allow others) slogan. She said the government was muzzling dissenting voices, weakening institutions and dividing communities for poll gains.

"Judiciary is passing through an unprecedented crisis…. It is a sensitive phase we need to take seriously...we will fight this on behalf of the people," she said.

Countering the Congress chief’s attack, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi were “baseless”. “Modi ji went on China’s invitation and talked about peace and prosperity. We asked Rahul Gandhi why he visited the Chinese envoy during the Doklam standoff. His reply is awaited.”

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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