NEW DELHI: The 132nd Congress Foundation Day provided yet another platform to Rahul Gandhi to vent his opposition to the demonitisation move, which he cited as an example of the “fear’’ politics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is the first time Rahul Gandhi, as the party’s vice president, led the Foundation Day celebrations. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was absent.
Hoisting the Congress flag at the party’s Akbar Road headquarters, Rahul sought to draw a distinction between Congress’ “inclusive politics” as against what he called BJP’s “divisive, fear inducing politics, meant to serve only a few and the privileged”.
It was as if, in his mind, he was drawing a parallel between the colonial rule and the current ruler of Delhi. “We have to struggle for the financial freedom of our people,’’ he exhorted his party workers. The people, as in “the poor, the farmer, the labourer, the middle classes and the youth.’’
However, the crux was demonitisation. He alleged that the “opaque’ functioning” style of the Prime Minister was the cause of the problems.
Putting out a ‘Charter of Demands’ before the Government — basically, pressure for compensation packages for farmers and the rest hit by demonitisation — Rahul also sought answers to a few questions from the PM. One being, a clear statement of account on the black money recovered since demonitisation.
Also how much of the black economy was back in the system. Rahul tried to irk the ruling side by reminding that the 50-day deadline set up by the PM for sorting out the currency crisis, was coming to an end.
The BJP later snapped back asking Rahul Gandhi asking him to give an account of the alleged bribe paid to officials and politicians in the VVIP chopper deal.
Picking on the PM’s Nov 8 speech, Rahul quipped: “Modiji has performed demonetisation yagna for 50 families and one percent super rich people of the country....What is the loss incurred to the economy? How many people have died, have they been given any compensation? Who were the experts the PM consulted before the notes ban?” Rahul Gandhi asked, in reiteration if he has been saying that the past few weeks. Even the BJP retaliation was on the same line.
“The aim is to run a government of select few, take away the money from the poor and give it to a select few. Spread fear and anger and rule on that basis. We have shown that questions have been raised on Modiji. He should answer these questions,” he said.