'India's 140 crore population and 100 richest people…': Rahul Gandhi in Panipat
Addressing a public rally, Rahul Gandhi said the Bharat Jodo Yatra has completed 112 days that started from Kanyakumari and “we are given such a warm welcome at Panipat”.
Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress resumed its journey on the first day of the Haryana leg's second phase from Panipat on Friday morning. The yatra re-entered Haryana on Thursday evening from Uttar Pradesh. After the night halt, the yatra began from Kurar in Panipat.
Addressing a public rally, Gandhi said the yatra has completed 112 days that started from Kanyakumari and “we are given such a warm welcome at Panipat”.
“I have a question in my mind... even the country's population is 140 crore... and only 100 richest people of the country have 50 per cent of the total wealth of the country… Do you see justice in it? This is the reality of Narendra Modi's India,” Gandhi targeted the Centre.
“If you look at India’s all corporates profit, 90 per cent profit is only with 20 corporates and this country’s half the wealth is only in 100 people’s hands. This is the truth of Narendra Modi’s India,” he added.
Gandhi alleged that this government has created two Indias - in one India where poor and common people live and another India in which 200-300 people who have all the wealth live.
“You people have nothing. You only have this air of Panipat in which you can’t breathe... it's cancer,” he added.
Gandhi said Panipat was a hub of micro-industries but the demonetisation and GST ruined the small and medium businesses, and this is the story of the entire country.
“GST and the note ban have broken the backbone of the country. Haryana is at the top in unemployment in the country with 38 per cent,” the Congress MP said.
Gandhi also raised the issues related to the Centr's Agnipath scheme. “The energy of the state is going to waste... What is Agniveer policy? Leaders claimed themselves as the biggest deshbhakt. Farmers and Jawan wake up at 4am and lakhs of youth want to join the Indian Army to protect the Tricolor… but now they are hopeless… The government used to appoint 80,000 youths in the Army every year to protect India's borders," he claimed.
“After a gap of four years only 25 per cent will get regular jobs and the rest will be left unemployed,” the former Congress president said.
Gandhi said “they accuse me of speaking against the government when I speak about the issues of servicemen”.
On the Centre's three farm laws, Gandhi said that the government had also brought “anti-farmer laws” but farmers forced the government and the PM had to admit his fault. “But the PM could not realise his fault and farmers were forced to live on roods for one year…” he added.
Leaders from social sciences and technology fields marched with Gandhi when the yatra resumed, the party said.
"Leaders in social science & tech marched with Rahul Gandhi in the Bharat Jodo Yatra," the Congress said in a tweet.
"Prof Sheila Sen Jasanoff (Holberg Prize 2022), Prof Jay H Jasanoff, and Dr Mohd Arif (Professor of History, Varanasi) joined the fight against regressive ideology," it said.
Gandhi was seen holding the hand of a young child walking alongside him.
Several senior Congress leaders from Haryana, including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja, Deepender Singh Hooda, Karan Singh Dalal, Udai Bhan and Kuldeep Sharma, joined Gandhi for the yatra.
The yatra's resumption was slightly delayed after Gandhi, who had gone back to Delhi on Thursday night to meet his ailing mother, returned for the restart.
Gandhi's mother, former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, was admitted to Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Wednesday for treatment of a viral respiratory infection.
The yatra was accorded a warm welcome by Congress leaders and workers as it re-entered Haryana on Thursday evening.
On Friday, as the foot march passed through various localities, common people could be seen joining the march. Some, including women and children, stood on rooftops and waved as the yatra passed through.
Gandhi was again seen in his white t-shirt, which has become a hot topic of discussion in many circles.
In the afternoon, Gandhi, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and other senior leaders addressed the public meeting in Panipat.