Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Rahul Gandhi hits out at PM Modi for misleading nation on Chinese aggression
Gandhi said the nation wanted to know why the PM had said there was no Chinese infiltration into the Indian territory, when 20 soldiers had sacrificed their lives while fighting the Chinese troops in eastern LadakhUpdated: Oct 23, 2020, 15:29 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for taking the public for a ride in the name of fighting the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and alleged that both of them did nothing to provide succour to migrant labours.
“Initially, PM Modi had said that the fight against Covid-19 would be won in 22 days. But everyone knows what happened. Migrant workers had to trudge for hundreds of kilometres (km) on foot with their children and belongings on their laps, as transport services were suspended because of the lockdown restrictions,” said Gandhi, as he kick-started his election campaign in Bihar from Hisua in Nawada district.
Gandhi alleged that CM Kumar and PM Modi were responsible for the acute economic hardship caused to migrant labourers due to the 68-day nationwide lockdown restrictions, which were enforced from March 25 in a bid to contain the spread of the contagion.
He also attacked PM Modi for misleading the nation about the clashes that had erupted between the Indian Army and China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on June 15 and for doing nothing to push back the intruding Chinese troops from the Indian territory.
Gandhi said the nation wanted to know why the PM had said there was no Chinese infiltration into the Indian territory, when 20 soldiers had sacrificed their lives while fighting the Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
“How long will he (PM) keep lying? Empty rhetoric does not work. He has done nothing for farmers, youths, and workers. He only works for the likes of the Adanis and the Ambanis,” the Congress leader alleged.
He punctured holes in PM Modi’s claims of providing jobs for 20 million Indian youths every year, which the latter had promised ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections.
The former Congress chief cited demonetisation and implementation of faulty goods and services tax (GST) regime as a massive blow to the Indian economy.
He alleged that the money collected from the public on the pretext of unearthing black money was being used to waive off loans of big corporate entities while poor and hapless farmers were left to fend for themselves.
“Rigorous GST regime has been enforced to pave the way for the expansion of big industrialists at the cost of small entrepreneurs, businessmen and farmers. Airports and railway lines are being sold to big corporate houses with impunity. Now, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government is out to grab farmland and make farmers and workers slaves to industrialists by enacting three ‘black’ laws for the agriculture sector,” Gandhi alleged.
He took the opportunity to cite the example of his own party that he claimed had always supported farmers and also waived off their loans, when it was in power.
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) shared the stage with Gandhi at Hisua. Yadav exhorted the public to support him in a bid to usher in a change in Bihar politics.
He urged the voters that the state needed a new vision and energetic leader to emerge on the back of CM Kumar’s “misrule” since 2005.
“Our CM (Kumar) has become tired. No wonder, he is offering excuses to justify Bihar’s backwardness,” said Yadav, who has been projected as the CM’s face of the Grand Alliance (GA), or the mahagathbandhan, comprising the RJD, the Congress and the Left parties.
Yadav took a potshot at CM Kumar for the latter’s repartee regarding GA’s pledge to provide 1 million jobs, if it comes to power.
Yadav, the RJD scion and a son of the party president and former CM Lalu Prasad, explained to the public that the unutilised amount of the annual budget, which would work out to Rs 800,000 million, would initially be used to pay monthly salaries of the new recruits.
“Later, enhanced investments in different sectors, including industries and tourism, will help the state earn additional revenue,” Yadav justified.
He tried to strike a chord with the public and sought their blessings for his new role as the probable Bihar CM.
He invoked his father Prasad, who is languishing in a Ranchi jail after being convicted of multiple fodder scam cases, and cited his initiatives as an erstwhile Union Railway Minister that had led to the setting up of several industrial units at Madhepura, Marhora and Bela.
He promised that Prasad would be released from the Ranchi jail on his next birthday on November 9, a day ahead of Bihar election results would be announced.
Tariq Anwar, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC); Subodh Kant Sahai, a former Union minister; Shaktisinh Gohil, AICC in-charge of the Bihar unit; and Akhilesh Prasad Singh, a Congress Rajya Sabha (RS) member also addressed the rally, which was held to bolster the prospects of Congress nominees such as Nitu Singh from Hisua, Sanjeev Singh alias Mantan Singh (Warsaliganj), RJD candidates Vibha Devi from Prakash Veer from Nawada and Rajauli seats, respectively.
Elections will be held for 71 seats in the first phase of the elections on October 28.
The RJD and the Congress are contesting in 42 and 21 seats, respectively, in the first phase of the 243-member Bihar legislative assembly.
The Left parties are trying their luck in eight constituencies in the first phase under the GA’s banner.
The second and third phase of the polls will be held on November 3 and 7, respectively, and the results will be declared on November 10.