Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched an all-out offensive against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a range of issues from the Rafale controversy to the ongoing mass exodus of migrant workers from Gujarat.
Addressing a public gathering in Dholpur in poll-bound Rajasthan, Gandhi accused PM Modi of “stealing” the Rafale aircraft deal from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and giving it to Anil Ambani.
“Mr. Modi stole the deal from HAL and gave it to Anil Ambani, who has a debt of ₹45,000Cr. When I questioned him about the same in the Parliament he couldn’t meet my eyes,” said the Congress president.
Gandhi alleged that the prime minister increased the price of each fighter jet from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,600 crore, adding that Ambani had accompanied PM Modi to France when the deal was finalised.
“Mr. Modi hiked the price of the aircraft from Rs 526 crore per aircraft to Rs 1,600 crore per aircraft. Anil Ambani who never manufactured a single aircraft in his life was given the deal. He accompanied Mr. Modi to France when the deal was finalised,” he said.
He said that while the erstwhile UPA government had finalised the deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets, the Modi government was buying only 36 such aircrafts for the same amount.
“PM Modi claimed he wants to be ‘Chowkidar’, but whom does he really want to protect? UPA wanted to buy 126 fighter aircraft to strengthen national security, but Modi ji changed the deal to 36 aircraft,” Gandhi asked.
Launching a scathing attack at the PM over the rising non-performing assets (NPAs), the Congress president said that Modi waived off Rs 3 lakh crore loan of India’s richest people including Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi.
“PM Modi maintains a brotherly relation with Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, mehul Choksi. PM Modi calls Mehul Choksi, ‘Mehul bhai’,” he said.
“Farmers are demanding facilities from banks but they’re denied because of debt. Why can’t Narendra Modi waive farm loans when he can waive loans worth Rs 3 lakh crore of 15-20 corporates,” said Gandhi.
“I have personally appealed to the Prime Minister to waive farm loans. But his response was silence,” he added.
The Congress president also slammed the prime minister over the economic reforms brought by the government, alleging that demonetisation and GST only “crushed the economy”. “Mr. Modi promised 2 crore jobs. Instead, he crushed small businesses and the economy with Demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax. All his policies are only to help and protect 15-20 industrialists,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi also cornered the government over the ongoing alleged mass exodus of migrants workers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from Gujarat following the arrest of a native from Bihar for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in Sabarkantha.
“Youth of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh are assaulted and mistreated in Gujarat. You had trusted Narendra Modi, hoping that he will provide employment, but he broke your trust,” he alleged.
Urging the voters to bring the UPA back to power in the state, Gandhi said that the Congress governs with “love and harmony” while the BJP governs with “hatred and polarisation”.
“We will form your government. We govern with love and harmony while they govern with hatred and polarisation. BJP talks about their ‘Mann ki Baat’, we listen to your ‘Mann ki Baat’,” he said.