Continuing to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his second day of campaign in Tamil Nadu, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged Chinese troops have occupied Indian territory and the man with '56 inch-chest' cannot even utter the name of the neighbouring country.
Addressing meetings in Tirupur and in neighbouring Erode district as part of three-day campaign tour of Tamil Nadu for the assembly elections to be held in the next few months, he also repeated his charge that Modi governed the country for just five or six business people.
"For the first time, the Indian people can see that Chinese troops have occupied Indian territory. As we speak today, thousands of Chinese troops are occupying our territory and the man with a 56-inch chest cannot even say the word China. That is the reality of our country," he said.
The Chinese understood that Modi was 'weak and destroyed the nation's economy and that is why they are inside our territory', he alleged.
Without any doubt, he said he could tell the people that China would have never had the 'guts' to step inside 'Indian territory' if the economy, farmers and small and medium enterprises had been strong and if the 'nonsensical GST' and demonetisation had not been implemented.
The prime minister has weakened the country because he does not work for the people but only for his five or six businessmen friends and China has 'come inside,' because of such a weakened position, he claimed.
Taking forward his 'Tamil language and culture' pitch to connect with the people and attack the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress MP said he wanted to be the soldier of the Tamil people in Delhi and reiterated that he would not allow the Saffron party to disregard Tamil culture.
He reiterated that his ties with Tamil Nadu was apolitical, a family relationship and bonded by 'love, affection and blood'.
The Congress leader said he was in the state to help people elect a government that cannot be blackmailed by the Modi regime and which would protect interests of common man.
On Sunday too, he did not mention ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's name though Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri said the party was an ally of the Dravidian major and united in the fight against the BJP.
Gandhi, who also addressed people from his vehicle at some places during a roadshow, accused the BJP of trying to impose one culture one and language on people and relegate Tamil to a 'second class place'.
The BJP struck at the very idea of diversity, which is the country's foundation, he alleged.
"I understand, accept and respect the Tamil spirit and culture. I am not going to allow the Prime Minister and the BJP to disrespect the Tamil people no matter what," he said in his speeches in English, translated into Tamil.
The next attack was on farmers, workers, weavers and fishermen who form the core of nation's foundation through demonetisation, a 'nonsensical Goods and Services Tax', and the three farm laws, he said.
Such agriculture laws shattered farmers lives, wrecked havoc on the 'mandi' system, favoured 'five to six' business persons to store millions of tonnes of food grains, he alleged.
On the top of it all, ryots cannot seek justice by approaching courts in case of a dispute, he claimed.
After coming up with such legislations, the Modi government still claimed these laws were to protect farmers' interests, Gandhi said.
If that was the case, why 'lakhs of ryots' were protesting in Delhi and announced their 'own parade' on Republic Day? he asked.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Modi government waived loans worth about ten lakh crore for big businessmen, the Congress leader alleged and sought to know if advances taken by poor people were written off.
"Today, we have a Prime Minister who is trying to build a roof by destroying the foundation and the walls of the building.
"People around him are too scared to tell him about his own ignorance. Scared to tell him you cannot construct a building without a strong foundation," Gandhi said.
In a veiled attack on Modi's monthly radio programme, the top Congress leader said his Tamil Nadu visit was not to tell people his 'Mann Ki Baat,' or advise them on what they should do but to listen to them, understand their problems and help resolve them.
During his tour, he was accorded a warm welcome by party workers who played traditional music. While many presented him shawls, some showered rose petals on him.
He also took a traditional Tamil Nadu meal along with weavers following an interaction.
An elderly woman applied 'Vibuthi' (sacred ash) on his forehead as a mark of blessings and several took 'selfies' with him.
The Congress leader paid floral tributes to iconic leader K Kamaraj, late chief ministers M G Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.