Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on issues of corruption involving his party leaders and assured the farmers that the Congress would not allow the central government to go ahead with the "anti-farmer" land bill.
Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, addressed the farmers in Hanumangarh district, over 400 kilometres from Jaipur, before beginning his 10 kilometre padyatra (walk) in a sweltering heat.
He mocked at the Prime Minister’s anti-corruption call “na khaoonga, na khane doonga (Will neither eat nor let anyone eat) and rephrased it, “Did he also say, ‘I will not speak’, attacking the PM’s alleged silence on the issues of corruption cropping up within his own party.
Setting the tone for his party’s opposition to the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, he told farmers, “We will not let them take even an inch of your land. Don’t worry--the Congress is with you.”
In a bid to strike a chord with the farmers after concluding his march at Amarsinghwala village, Gandhi said, “I walked 10 kilometres in (sweltering) heat but this is what every Indian farmer does every day. The BJP, which is in the government at the Centre and in the state, doesn’t respect the farmers.”
Rahul Gandhi later told reporters that he used to call the Modi government ‘Suit, boot ki sarkar’, but now he had added ‘loot’ to complete the slogan. He also attacked chief minister Vasundhara Raje for helping a fugitive (former IPL chief Lalit Modi) and said, “Forget about taking action about BJP leaders’ relations (with Lalit Modi), the PM doesn’t want to even tell us what he thinks of the issues, like Vyapam.
You are the Prime Minister, people want to know your views.”
Rahul Gandhi told the farmers that he realised that they were facing the problems of polluted water and water-logging. “I cannot promise you anything, but I assure you that the Congress will raise your issues and fight for them,” he said.
Later, state party president Sachin Pilot said in Rajasthan, PPP didn’t mean public-private partnership but private-private partnership and that’s how the government was running here for select business friends in London.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot called Rahul Gandhi a messiah of the poor and said the message of the today’s yatra would go well across the state.