Pune: “I have no hatred for him, I love him,” said Congress president Rahul Gandhi about Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as he called the latter’s demonetisation exercise a “disastrous idea” while addressing students here on Friday.
“It had a terrible effect on the economy, two per cent of the GDP was lost and resulted in a loss of millions of jobs. The economy was jammed shut because of it,” he reportedly said.
Rahul answered an array of questions, ranging from economy to healthcare and education. While answering a question on whether politics can be devoid of love and affection, Rahul said, “I love Narendra Modi. I have no hatred or anger towards him. But he has anger towards me.”
He said India was losing 27,000 jobs every day because “there is no link between the universities and businesses… universities are functioning in silos. We
need to turn the universities into networks.”
On his party’s NYAY scheme which promises Rs 72,000 annually to the poorest of poor, Rahul said, “The Rs 72,000 will happen. There is plenty of money in the system. We’ve already calculated where the money is going to come from.”
As far as quota for women was concerned, Rahul said once the UPA came to power, women would get 33% reservation in Parliament and state Assemblies. “We’ll also ensure 33 per cent jobs are reserved for women,” a daily quoted him as saying.
About his idea of doing away with NITI Aayog and bringing in a leaner Planning Commission, Rahul said, “Planning Commission was a strategic institution. We want an institution that allows us to solve problems at a large scale, that is why we want Planning Commission, for strategic thinking. NITI Aayog is a tactical institution.”
Addressing the issue of IAF air strike in Balakot and how it has been ‘politicised’, Rahul said, “The air force should take credit for it. I am against the politicisation of the air strikes. I feel uncomfortable when the PM politicises these issues.”