Uttarakhand polls: India has a king instead of PM today, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader accused PM Modi of leaving farmers in the lurch for a year amid a raging Covid-19 pandemic
Ahead of the Uttarakhand assembly elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a “king who believes that people should keep quiet when he takes any decision”.
Gandhi accused Modi of leaving farmers in the lurch for a year amid a raging Covid-19 pandemic. “The Congress will never do that,” he assured while addressing a gathering of farmers at Kiccha town in Udham Singh Nagar district.
Polling for the 70-member Uttarakhand legislative assembly will be held on February 14 and the results will be announced on March 10.
“India does not have a PM today,” Gandhi said. “It has a king who believes that when the king takes a decision, everyone else should keep quiet.”
The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad in Kerala asserted that his party will never treat farmers the way the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government did. “Congress will never shut its doors on farmers while it is in power. We want to work in partnership with farmers, the poor and labourers so that every section feels it is their government.”
Former Uttarakhand chief minister and party national general secretary Harish Rawat, state president Ganesh Godiyal, leader of opposition in assembly Pritam Singh, and state unit in-charge Devendra Yadav were present at the rally, among other Congress leaders.
Citing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s tenure before 2014, Gandhi said, “People call the tenure of then PM Manmohan Singh as the golden period because under him the UPA government worked for the poor while having a partnership with the farmers. He was a PM who listened to the people. But today, Narendra Modi is not the PM, but a king who doesn’t listen to the people.”
“PM is a person whose doors are always open for the farmers, labourers and the poor. The one who listens to their issues and provides a solution. But the farmers, while protesting against the three farm laws, were on road for more than one year, braving rain, Covid-19 and winter. But PM Modi didn’t pay any heed to invite them to his office so as to listen to their issues. It is because he believes a king doesn’t talk to farmers and labourers, he just takes decisions that people shouldn’t question,” Gandhi said, “If anyone dares to question it, then there is ED, CBI and Pegasus for them.”
In the 2017 Uttarakhand elections, the BJP won 57 of the 70 assembly seats while the Congress managed to win in only 11 seats.
Urging voters to support the party, the former Congress president said, “If Congress is voted to power, we will form partnership with the farmers, labourers, poor and youth to work for them so that they can say it is their government that listens to them.”
Rawat, who is also the party’s chief election strategist in Uttarakhand, attacked the BJP government at the Centre, accusing it of working against the welfare of the farmers.
“First, they brought the three black farm laws, but later took them back under pressure from the farmers’ struggle. But the sufferings of the farmers didn’t stop there, as today the price of seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, agricultural equipment and fuel are skyrocketing, to which the government is paying no heed,” said Rawat.
“PM Modi had earlier promised to double the income of farmers by 2022, but the year has already started and, instead of a rise in their income, it has decreased,” he accused.
The state BJP brushed aside charges made by Congress leaders, saying their party has lost its “credibility”.
“Congress has been totally rejected by the people of state and country as they know that it’s the synonym to corruption and misgovernance. The only party that has worked for the actual development of the state is the BJP,” said party’s state general secretary Rajendra Bhandari.
“People will once again shower their blessings on the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections and give it a chance to serve them again,” he added.