Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi continued his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, describing the demonetisation initiative as an “economic lockout” and seeking a response to the allegations of graft levelled against him.
At a rally held at the Government Post-Graduate College grounds in Baran, Gandhi said the move to scrap high value currency notes was intended to empower the country’s elite at the cost of its lower and middle classes.
“Modiji calls demonetisation a rashtriya yagya (countrywide exercise), but only poor people, farmers, labourers, women and other weaker sections have been sacrificed for it,” he said. “The famous lock-manufacturing units in Aligarh have already been closed down. Workers in the stone and jewellery sectors are also hit.”
Gandhi said demonetisation was carried out to keep the money belonging to the poor in banks for a longer period.
“Such deposits will help the banks waive loans worth Rs 8 lakh crore owed by the 50 super-rich families in the country. Gareebo se khincho aur ameero ko sincho (Take from the poor and feed the rich),” he added.
Reiterating his allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister, Gandhi said documents recovered during income tax raids on certain prominent companies between 2012 and 2014 revealed that Modi had received Rs 65 crore in kickbacks. “Mock me if you like, but answer the questions being raised by the poor,” he added.
The Congress vice-president also picked on Paytm, expanding the acronymic title of the mobile commerce platform to read “Pay to Modi”.
He alleged that 5% of the money paid through the app goes to prominent industrialists favoured by Modi.
Turning his attention to the state’s BJP government, Gandhi said that Vasundhare Raje and her cabinet have done nothing for the poor in their time spent in office. Instead, atrocities against Dalits, tribals and women peaked under her rule, he added.
The event was attended by Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, former minister Pramod Jain ‘Bhaya’, and Rajasthan Congress in-charge Gurudas Kamat, among others.