Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of adherence to truth and communal harmony, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of dividing the country and making false promises.
Addressing a rally in Wardha to kick off the Congress’s programmes in the 150th birth anniversary year of the father of the nation, Rahul Gandhi once again targeted Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal.
“Every day the prime minister fights against those things (ideals) for which (Mahatma) Gandhi sacrificed all his life, took three bullets. Gandhiji talked about uniting the country. Modiji talks about breaking up the people of the country,” the Congress chief said at Wardha in Maharashtra, where Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram is located.
The prime minister pitched one religion against another, one community against another and spread hatred among people, Rahul Gandhi alleged.
“Gandhiji insisted on (always) 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.
Modi “lied” by promising to create two crore jobs every year and giving a fair price for farm produce, the Congress chief alleged.
He asked the prime minister to explain why the offset contract in the Rafale deal was awarded to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, “snatching” it from the State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
“Modi’s friend” Ambani was given the contract, despite his firm not having manufactured a “single aircraft” and carrying a debt of Rs 45,000 crore, Rahul Gandhi alleged.
He also referred to former France president Francois Hollande’s remarks that his government had no say in choosing Ambani’s company in the Rafale deal.
“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.
Ambani has denied Rahul Gandhi’s allegations over the Rafale deal.
The Congress chief also accused the National Democratic Alliance government of writing off loans worth Rs 3.2 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.
“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.
By stating in his August 15 address that “nothing had happened in India” before he became the prime minister, Modi had insulted “Gandhiji, every citizen of the country, every farmer, every mother and sister...,” he added.
All photographs: @INCIndia/Twitter