The 5 Pillars of Rahul Gandhi’s Platform Against BJP in Madhya Pradesh's Saffron Stronghold
Referring to a recent meeting with former servicemen, the Congress chief said they accused Modi of betraying them on the issue of One Rank, One Pension.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is set to address a rally in Rajasthan's Jaipur (File photo)
Bhopal: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi kept up his attack on the Narendra Modi government over the issues of corruption, demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday, accusing the BJP of favouring industrialists over the disadvantaged sections of society.
Mounting pressure on the government for “helping loan defaulters flee”, Gandhi claimed that businessman Mehul Choksi, who is at the heart of the PNB fraud, transferred money to the bank account of finance minister Arun Jaitley’s daughter before fleeing the country.
Gandhi, who kicked off his two-day campaign from Malwa-Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh with a visit to Ujjain’s Mahakal Temple, said: “Choksi transferred lakhs of rupees in the bank account of Jaitley’s daughter and then fled with Rs 35,000 crore, only to be called Mehul Bhai by PM Narendra Modi.”
“If any cops like those present here helped a thief run away, they would be thrown in jail. But the finance minister hasn’t faced any action,” he alleged.
Accusing the BJP government of denying any waiver to distressed farmers, Gandhi said: “I don’t make false promises. Within 10 days of the Congress forming the government in MP, our CM will announce a waiver. If he fails to do so, we will find a replacement.”
Referring to a recent meeting with former servicemen, the Congress chief said they accused Modi of betraying them on the issue of One Rank, One Pension and “burning down Jammu and Kashmir”. “You boast about surgical strike. I want to ask what you did for those who carried out the surgical strike for you,” he said.
Later, addressing a tribal population in Jhabua, Gandhi said two types of countries were in the making of late — one for the billionaires and one for people like those in Jhabua, farmers, labourers and so on. We, Gandhi said, “don’t believe in differentiation so we have faith in a single flag, while they [BJP] have two flags. The RSS already has a second flag”.
Gandhi also spoke about the emotional bond the locals share with late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, saying, “You people had a special place in your hearts for them as you knew they fought for your rights on ‘Jal, Jangal and Zameen’.”
“Like my father Rajiv Gandhi dreamt of education, health, employment and other amenities for you, I also think you should dream about all these things,” he added.
The Congress chief underlined the initiatives taken by his party for tribals such as MGNREGS and Right to Food, alleging that the first thing PM Modi did after coming to power was make attempts to quash the Land Acquisition Bill. “When Congress stalled his moves in Parliament, he got the bill quashed in BJP-ruled states, including MP.”
Gandhi emphasised on the contribution made by the tribals to the independence struggle, saying the tri-colour flying on the hillock nearby had sacrifices from every section, including the tribals, through their freedom fighters such as Birsa Munda.
“Once you vote Congress to power, you will feel it’s your government in rule after 15 years,” said Gandhi.
“I challenge if any tribal or any common man can manage to meet Modiji for 5 minutes in his office,” he said. “In five years, Prime Minister got clicked with presidents, business tycoons and others but he wasn’t seen in a picture with any poor man once,” he said.
The Congress chief’s visit is significant as the region has been a BJP citadel since the party won 56 of 66 seats from the area in the last election, while the grand old party holds only nine. An electoral turnaround in the region could mean return to power for the Congress.
Attacking Gandhi for his temple visits, BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Sambit Patra asked him if he knew his “gotra”. Vijayvargiya, meanwhile, said he would pray to Lord Shiva to give ‘wisdom’ to Gandhi.
Later in the evening, Gandhi held a roadshow in Indore.
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