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Bastar’s riches are reaching only Modi, CM’s friends,says Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi alleged that Modi was busy waiving the loans 10-15 industrialists to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh crore in the past four-and-a-half years.

chattisgarh elections Updated: Nov 10, 2018 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Rahul Gandhi,Narendra Modi,Chhattisgarh
Congress president Rahul Gandhi waves to the crowd during a rally at Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh on November 9.(PTI Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised on Friday to write off farmers’ debts within 10 days of coming to power in Chhattisgarh and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of destroying the economy.

Addressing four rallies in the poll-bound state, including one in chief minister Raman Singh’s home district of Rajnandgaon, Gandhi attacked the Centre over the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which he alleged, was a ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.

Three days before the first phase of voting in Chhattisgarh on November 12, Gandhi also accused Modi and Singh of making “false” and “unfulfilled” promises.

“Bastar is rich in natural resources, but local people don’t have access to their benefits. The benefits are reaching a few industrialist friends of Modi ji and Chhattisgarh CM,” Gandhi said.

The 47-year-old leader said his party would resolve farm problems in the state. “If we form the government in Chhattisgarh, we will waive the loans of farmers within ten days,” he said, claiming that food processing units will be developed for farmers in each district.

Claiming that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre used to provide R 35,000 crore to run the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in a year, Gandhi alleged that Modi was busy waiving the loans 10-15 industrialists to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh crore in the past four-and-a-half years. “With this huge money, 10 MNREGAs could have been executed,” he said.

Gandhi also alleged that the prime minister had failed to fulfil his promise of depositing ₹15 lakh in everyone’s bank account by unearthing black money stashed away by dishonest Indians and creating 20 million jobs every year. He also alleged jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and tainted cricket administrator Lalit Modi fled India with thousands of crores with the help of the government.

Gandhi targeted Singh over allegations of a Rs 5,000 crore chit fund scam. Singh had denied these charges earlier. “Who had opened these (chit fund) companies? They were friends of Raman Singh,” Gandhi alleged.

The BJP rubbished the allegations and called them baseless. Party spokesperson Sacchinand Upasana said: “No one takes Rahul Gandhi seriously in Chhattisgarh. The allegations against CM Raman Singh and PM Modi are baseless. Congress is losing Chattisgarh and hence the frustration of Rahul Gandhi is visible”.

Gandhi spoke at four rallies on Thursday, at Pakhanjore, Khairagarh,Dongargarh and Gunj Chowk. The Congress is looking to come back to power after 15 years in Chhattisgarh.

Elections to the 90-member assembly will be held in two phases - on November 12 and November 20 - and counting of votes will take place on December 11.

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 00:09 IST