MUMBAI: Congress President Rahul Gandhi assured minimum income and jobs to the youth if the party is voted to power in the ensuing general elections. He also came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘politicising’ the air strikes on Pakistan and threw a challenge to show one promise of Modi which has been fulfilled till date, as he spoke at his first poll campaign rally in the state on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a public rally in Dhule on February 16. Gandhi chose the same town to launch his campaign in the state. He attacked Modi while accusing him of doling out 15 industrialists of the country of the loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore and promised youth the same money could have been used to give assured income for them.
“The Congress shall bring in a scheme to give assured minimum income to all youth in the country if voted to power,” he told the people and added, “If they can distribute Rs 3.5 lakh crore to just 15 industrialists, we can certainly run the scheme that assures minimum income and jobs to the youth.”
The Congress president also tried to draw a parallel between him and Modi on the issue of the air strikes that took place on February 26.
“I had instructed the Congress workers and leaders not to level any allegation against the government in wake of the air strikes. I had said that India should stand united. Was I right? However, PM Narendra Modi levelled allegations against the Opposition at a function at the India Gate. He can’t live for even five minutes without his public relation exercise. This is the difference between them and us,” Gandhi said.
He accused Modi of not keeping even a single promise made to the countrymen.
“I am in politics since 2004. Show me a single false promise I have made in all these years. On the contrary, show me a single promise that was kept by Modi ji. It is my challenge. Anyone can show me a video clip to establish that Modi ji has kept his promise,” he said.
Apart from reiterating his allegations that Modi government had been working for betterment of a handful of industrialists several times during his about half-an-hour-long speech, Gandhi also accused the Modi government of trying to grab the land from tribals and rural people. He also stated that his party that forced the government to go back on its earlier plan and forced it to give four times more compensation.
He also criticised the Union government’s scheme of transferring Rs 6,000 annually into the bank account of a farmer family.
“They should be ashamed of announcing Rs 17 per month to a farmer family. There are two Hindustans. One is of the farmers and the poor and the other is of Modi, Anil Ambani and the industrialists. If we come to power there will be only one Hindustan. That will lead to everyone’s development.”
He also accused the BJP of spreading hatred everywhere and said that people of Maharashtra would vote for Congress since its ideology of love and harmony is into their DNA.
“This country belongs to everyone. There are different religions, languages and castes. Wherever the BJP goes it spreads hatred whereas the Congress spreads loves. You (Congress workers) are working for uniting India in spite of you get canes from the police,” he said.
State Congress in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge, state president Ashok Chavan and Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil too were present at the meeting.