Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his strident criticism of the Congress, party president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said in the last 70 years, the “foolishness of demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax” was not done by anybody.
He was addressing an election meeting in Unchahar in Rae Bareli from where UPA chairperson and his mother Sonia Gandhi is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha.
“In the past 70 years, the foolishness of demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax (Gandhi’s coinage for the Goods and Services Tax or GST) was not done by anyone,” Gandhi said.
His remarks come against the backdrop of repeated attacks by the prime minister on the Congress, holding it responsible for all ills since the country got Independence.
“Chowkidar (watchman) has done ‘chori’ (theft) of factories and employment of people of Rae Bareli and Amethi (the Lok Sabha seat represented by the Congress chief),” he said.
Rahul Gandhi also accused Modi of not wanting to fill 22 lakh vacant posts in the government.
“Some 22 lakh jobs are vacant in the government. Modi did not want to fill these vacant posts and only wants to help his friends. We will give these 22 lakh jobs in one year and 10 lakh jobs in panchayats,” he said.
The Congress president asked the gathering, “Where are Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi – in jail or outside?
“If a farmer of Rae Bareli takes loan of Rs 20,000 and is unable to repay, he is sent to jail. From 2019, when our government will come to power no farmer will go to jail in such cases. We will bring a separate farmers’ budget in which they will get to know MSP, storm losses compensation, insurance details and what they will get when they suffer losses,” he said.
Charging the prime minister of taking away money from “our pocket, your pocket”, he promised that the Congress will ensure that the people get back their money.
“Modi has taken away money from your house, lied and fooled you and made you stand in queues telling you that it is a fight against corruption and black money. He fooled the country and took money from your pocket for a ‘chor’ (thief) like Anil Ambani,” Gandhi said.
“Have you seen ‘Hindustan ke chor’ Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya standing in a line,” he asked the gathering.
Promising that Congress will “put back money in your pocket”, Gandhi said when people get money, they will start making purchases. “After demonetisation you stopped purchasing and factories stopped manufacturing giving rise to unemployment. Our ‘Nyay’ will give jobs.”
Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) is the party’s ambitious minimum income guarantee scheme, which assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month income to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families.
“Whatever we do is well thought. It’s impossible to give Rs 15 lakh in every bank account as economy will collapse. But giving Rs 3.60 lakh individually is possible in five years with Rs 72,000 per year,” he said.
Stating that in the present regime, crop insurance money was not given to farmers, Gandhi said, “Entire work of insurance has been given to people like Anil Ambani. You give money for insurance but when you face loss you are not compensated. Rs 10,000 crore have been taken from farmers and given to people like Anil Ambani…”
He alleged that work on railway line, railway factory and food park was stopped in Amethi.
“I have the list of all the works which were stopped by this government. I will do double work for Rae Bareli and Amethi and ensure employment for people,” he said.
Referring to Rafale deal, Gandhi said, “Why Rs 30,000 crore was given to Anil Ambani. The contract was taken away from HAL, Amethi.”