In a stinging swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said instead of peeping into the bathrooms of others and reading horoscopes, he should look into issues concerning the common man.
“Narendra Modiji likes to read horoscopes, search Google and peep into others’ bathrooms. He should do so in his free time – during the evenings. As a PM, he should address issues concerning the country’s security, farmers and youth,” he said while releasing the 10-point common agenda of the Congress-SP alliance with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav here on Saturday.
The Congress vice-president’s comments came against the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s remarks in Parliament earlier this week that one should learn the art of “bathing with a raincoat on” from Manmohan Singh as there was not a single taint on him despite so many scams having taken place during his regime.
And on Friday, Modi had said in an election rally in Haridwar that the BJP had a detailed dossier on the Congress leaders.
Gandhi said the PM had failed to provide jobs to the youth and the number of security personnel who lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir last year had gone up (90).
“The PM has failed on every front. He is realising that the Congress-SP alliance is coming to power in Uttar Pradesh. This will give a severe jolt to the PM’s credibility. He has been the Prime Minister for the last two-and-a-half years. He is free to take out the horoscope of anybody he wants to,” Gandhi said.
He said the PM was trying to divert people’s attention from crucial issues. “The PM is not able to give an explanation of his failures therefore he is resorting to diversionary tactics,” he said.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the PM should not play with people’s emotions and should not lose his cool on realising that the SP-Congress alliance was coming to power in UP. The SP chief also took on Modi over the horoscope comment.
“This is the age of internet. Horoscopes are available at the click of the mouse. This election is for the prosperity and development of Uttar Pradesh. The PM should travel on Agra-Lucknow Expressway and I am sure he will also vote for the Congress-SP alliance,” Akhilesh said.
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Countering the PM’s remark that the alliance is “kunbon ka gathbandhan” (an alliance of two families), Akhilesh said it was his perception. “Alliance is not taking anything away from anybody. We only want to bring this government back. This is an alliance of two youths and two parties. The alliance has pulled the rug from under the PM’s feet,” he said.
The two leaders said the PM should tell the people what he had done for Uttar Pradesh.
When asked about fielding of candidates from Congress as well as SP on a number of seats despite alliance, Rahul Gandhi said there was no problem in 99% of seats. “There is perfect coordination in the alliance. If there is any problem on 6-7 seats it will be sorted out,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the two leaders said the tie-up aimed at complete transformation of Uttar Pradesh.
Referring to Muslim clerics extending support to the Bahujan Samaj Party, Akhliesh said the BSP and the BJP had worked together in the past. “Are they (clerics) trying to bring them closer again?” asked Yadav.
Besides promising free smartphones, skill development of the youth with job guarantee, loan waiver, cheap power and good price of produce to farmers, the alliance’s 10-point agenda includes Rs 1,000 pension to 1 crore poor families, a day’s food for Rs 10 in urban areas, and 33% reservation for women in government jobs.
Other promises include 50% quota for women in panchayats, free cycles to girls of class 9 and 10, and modernisation of the police.