JAIPUR: Congress President Rahul Gandhi was at his aggressive best and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly during his Sankalp rally in Rajasthan's Dungarpur district.
Lashing out at Modi over the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and over the government's failure to prevent Vijay Mallya from fleeing the country, Rahul said the PM Modi calls himself the 'chaukidaar' of the country but he is now involved in theft.
In slamming the PM, Rahul even coined a fresh slogan: " Gali Gali mein shor hai , Desh ka Chaukidaar chor hai "( People in every nook and corner are shouting that the watchman is the thief).
He also remarked: "PM gave Anil Ambani the Rafale contract which raised the cost of each plane from 526 crores to Rupees 1600 crores each. We were to purchase 126 planes in such an amount and BJP has bought only 36. Why? When I ask this question, Modiji can't even see me in the eye."
Rahul was speaking in the tribal-dominated Mewar-Wagad region of southern Rajasthan which is critical politically, as the party which dominates in this region has traditionally formed the government in Rajasthan.
The Congress President even attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claiming that he let Vijay Mallya escape to London after meeting him a day before in the Parliament.
"It was a deliberate effort by BJP leaders and they should be implicated. If a constable lets a thief escape, the constable is then put behind bars for collusion. These people let a man escape with 9000 crore Rupees. Modiji says he is the watchman of the country but today the entire country knows that he is a thief", he said.
On the issue of unemployment, Rahul was scathing in his attack, saying that both the central and state government had failed to tackle the issue. Rahul said that Raje had promised to deliver 15 lakh jobs in the last assembly elections but they still do not have any plans to implement that grand promise. He promised that as soon as Congress comes to power youth will have more jobs and help from the banking system as well.
He went on to remind the people that the UPA government had approved a rail project of rupees 2,000 crore for Mewar, which was subsequently cancelled by BJP.
"Modi ji has sanctioned 1 lakh crore rupees bullet train project for 5000-7000 rich people,but has cancelled our 2000 crore rupees project for the people of Mewar. When we form the government we will connect this region with the rest of the country so that the youth has more job opportunities.
When you see your appliances today you see 'made in China' tag at the back, I want to make sure that very soon it should read as 'made in Rajasthan', Rahul added. One of the prime problems facing Congress in Rajasthan is the in-fighting between the two chief ministerial candidates, PCC chief ,Sachin Pilot and former Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot.
Earlier at a rally in Jaipur Rahul Gandhi made sure both of them hugged each other on the stage sending a message of unity. On Thursday He mentioned about the viral picture of Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot sitting on a motorbike together from last week.
"I was happy to see the picture and it made me realise that we are definitely going to win the elections in Rajasthan because we are fighting together. Normally we have to request everyone to work together in congress, but I did not have to say anything to them, they became friends on their own", he said.
Two days back BJP President Amit Shah had conducted a public rally in Udaipur targeting ST votes and now Rahul Gandhi has kick started his campaign in the region with the rally in Saagawada, Dungarpur.
The dominating ST voter is traditionally a Congress vote bank but in the last assembly elections BJP had won 70 percent more seats out of the total 28 seats and formed a majority government. It seems now that Mewar has become the epicenter of caste politics before the elections again.