Mumbai/Dhule, March 1 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he has consistently refused to answer pointed questions on high profile defence deals in Parliament.
“Chowkidar chor hi nahi, darpok bhi hai (Chowkidar is not just a thief, but also a coward),” said Gandhi addressing a huge public rally in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex.
Gandhi, who kicked off the Congress party’s 2019 Lok Sabha campaign at two public rallies in Dhule and Mumbai, added that he was ready for any public debate on corruption, but the Prime Minister was scared and did not accept the challenge.
Terming the November 2016 demonetisation “a failed exercise”, Gandhi said: “You stood in queues outside banks but not industrialists and businessmen like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi or Vijay Mallya, who converted their black money into white from the comforts of their plush homes.”
On the recent border tensions, he said Modi always claimed that “India is united”, but did not miss any opportunity to attack the Congress and the opposition, not even at the inauguration of the National War Museum.
“After the CRPF troopers were martyred and a war-like situation came up, I instructed all Congressmen and appealed to the countrymen that nobody should criticise the government and India must stand united at this critical hour,” he said.
“We (the Opposition) decided that only after the national crisis gets over will we resume politics. However, the Prime Minister hasn’t given up his PR even for five minutes,” Gandhi thundered.
Addressing another rally in Dhule, Gandhi said that ever since Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took over in 2014, the Prime Minister had been making promises but did nothing to implement them.
Attacking the government on issues of farmers and the youth, he said Modi had claimed that every 24 hours, 450 youth were being given jobs but China created 50,000 jobs every day, “and we have to overtake China and only the Congress can do this.”
He said Modi attempted to dilute the Land Acquisition Bill thrice but on all occasions the Congress, despite its small strength in Parliament, successfully stalled it.
He pointed out that the government had given Rs 17 per family to the farmers but had written off loans worth Rs 3.50 lakh-crore of 15-25 big industrialists.
He said the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party were fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance. “The people of Maharashtra will unite and teach a lesson to Modi and the BJP.”