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Rahul Gandhi blames PM Narendra Modi for violence in J&K

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the escalating violence and the killings of soldiers in militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

Madhya Pradesh Elections 2018 Updated: Oct 30, 2018 00:02 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Ujjain
Madhya Pradesh Election 2018,Madhya Pradesh Election 2018 News,Madhya Pradesh Constituency
Rahul Gandhi cited his meeting with ex-servicemen on Saturday and said they blamed PM Modi for the killings of jawans and for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the escalating violence and the killings of soldiers in militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

In his address to a public meeting in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain, Gandhi said the north Indian state was on fire while reiterating his allegations over issues like the Rafale deal. The BJP rejected his allegations and asked Gandhi to explain Madhya Pradesh’s backwardness under the Congress rule.

Gandhi cited his meeting with ex-servicemen on Saturday and said they blamed Modi for the killings of jawans and for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Wherever prime minister goes, he talks about (the September 2016 ) surgical strike (against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir), the army, the air force, and the navy. But what did he do for those who took part in the surgical strike and also what did he do for soldiers…?” he asked at the meeting on the first day of his two-day visit to Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa-Nimad region.

Gandhi, who earlier began his election campaign after performing a puja at Ujjain’s Mahakal temple, said the ex-servicemen denied Modi’s claims that one rank, one pension for the equity in post-retirement benefits had been implemented.

He attacked Modi and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for “prevalent corruption in the system” and the “collapse of panchayat raj institutions”.

Gandhi said an old Ujjain woman was jailed as she could not pay an inflated Rs one lakh electricity bill. But people like liquor baron Vijay Mallya, businessmen Mehul Choksi and Nirva Modi escaped from the country with thousands of crores.

He said Modi executed the deal to buy Rafale fighter jets from France only on the condition that the manufacturer of the aircraft entered into an offset contract with a particular industrialist’s company. And thus Rs 30,000 crore of public money was to be transferred to the industrialist, he added.

He alleged Central Bureau of Investigation director Alok Verma was shifted because an investigation into the Rafael deal could have brought to fore what had actually happened.

Gandhi said there was no employment in the country. “Whereas the Modi government provides jobs to only 450 youths every 24 hours through all the government schemes… the number in China is 50,000 per 24 hours. Everything we have here has the stamp of Made in China while even Bangladesh has surpassed India in the textile industry.”

He likened Chouhan’s promises to Sachin Tendulkar runs. “He had made about 20,000 promises.” Gandhi referred to the alleged corruption in Madhya Pradesh and said Rs 400 crore was spent on cleaning the Shipra River. “But the people can see the water,’’ he added, pointing to a water bottle which a party worker held. He said they stole water from the river. “They stole money from a woman by giving inflated power bills. They did not spare even Kumbh fair (at Ujjain). They inflated the rate (of items used in the fair) by 10 times.”

He referred to the death of 50 people linked to the admission and recruitment Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh. “Education system has collapsed and there is no employment for Madhya Pradesh’s youth.”

He promised to revive the textile industry to generate jobs and added that food processing units would be opened everywhere if the Congress comes to power in Madhya Pradesh. Gandhi pledged to waive farm loans within 10 days if the Congress forms the government.

Chouhan dismissed Gandhi’s frequent visits to the state saying they will only result in increasing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s votes.

BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal dismissed Gandhi’s allegations. “Rahul Gandhi must tell people why Madhya Pradesh remained a BIMARU state during the Congress regime and why Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre were synonymous with corruption and misrule.”

Gandhi is on his fifth visit to Madhya Pradesh since September 17. Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and state campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia are among the leaders accompanying him.

(With inputs from Sandeep Vatsa in Ujjain)

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 00:02 IST