Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi panned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday for “being silent” on key issues and “not keeping his poll promises”, as the opposition leader ramped up his campaign for the Bihar election where his party faces an uphill battle against the BJP.
The Amethi MP also attacked Modi over his frequent foreign tours, saying the PM periodically changed outfits when abroad but did not find time to stand with distressed farmers and labourers back home.
“Before the (Lok Sabha) elections, Modi ji said that Rs 15 lakh will be added to the bank account of each Indian. Is there any Indian who has got this amount?” he asked, as he addressed rallies in the eastern state’s Sheikhpura, Begusarai and Kaimur districts. “PM Modi changes his clothes 16 times during his foreign trips and wore a suit worth Rs 15 lakh after coming to power…After Modi ji became the Prime Minister, I labelled it a ‘suit-boot’ government, and then he never wore a suit. Have you seen (chief minister) Nitish ji wear anything but white?”
The Congress lawmaker has repeatedly stung the NDA government this year with unrelenting attacks on its land acquisition and agrarian policies while courting voters in the countryside to shore up his poll-battered party.
“Modi ji had said that he would increase the maximum selling price for farmers,” Gandhi said, maintaining that the PM was only helping his “corporate friends”. “But farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka are committing suicide.”
He expressed confidence that the avowedly secular grand alliance comprising his party, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Lalu Prasad’s RJD would defeat the NDA despite the BJP winning state after state since sweeping last year’s general election.
“We will be with you, be seen with you and fight with you,” Gandhi promised the crowds, drawing cheers and a round of applause.
The Lok Sabha MP also questioned the timing of the PM’s announcement two months ago of a Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package for Bihar with assembly polls round the corner, but he steered clear of a controversy over cow slaughter that has triggered a nationwide debate.