Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka: PM Modi’s backward-looking thought led to note ban
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Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka: PM Modi’s backward-looking thought led to note ban

The Congress president alleged that PM Narendra Modi did not speak about significant issues including Rafale fighter jet deal, agrarian problems, unemployment, tribal people and Dalits in his parliamentary speech.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2018 21:44 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Hosapete (Ballari)
Narendra Modi,Rahul Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi Karnataka
Congress president Rahul Gandhi meets party workers at AICC Headquarters in New Delhi.(PTI Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was making excuses instead of fulfilling promises, and steering the country by looking at the rear-view mirror rather than ahead.

“If you (Modi) keep looking only at the rear-view mirror, you will land in potholes... make mistakes such as demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax (a term the Congress president has often used to describe GST),” Gandhi said at a rally on day one of his four-day tour of poll-bound Karnataka.

Targeting Modi’s recent speech in Parliament, where he attacked the Congress, Gandhi said the country was facing many issues, especially farm distress, unemployment and attacks on oppressed classes, but the PM chose to speak only about the past.

He said Modi spoke for one hour in Parliament on the motion of the thanks on President’s address, but did not utter a word about the controversy on the Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

Gandhi alleged that the Rafale deal was the biggest issue of corruption in the country. “Not one word on Rafale. In Karnataka, he stands with (former chief minister BS) Yeddyurappa in whose time lots of scams happened,” he said at the rally in Ballari district’s Hosapete city.

The BJP, which is looking to unseat the Congress, is projecting Lingayat strongman Yeddyurappa, 74, as its chief ministerial candidate.

The rally marked the start of “Janashirvad Yatra” of the ruling Congress in the state, where polls are early this year. The tenure of the present Assembly ends on May 28.

Gandhi said unlike the Congress, Modi had failed to deliver on promises. “He said he would put Rs 15 lakh in people’s accounts. Not one rupee has been given. Then, he said he would give 20 million jobs to youth every year. When we asked in Parliament, he said only 450 people get employment every day.”

The Congress president said even among those jobs, most were generated in Karnataka. He said chief minister Siddaramaiah had delivered. “Modi ji please learn from chief minister Siddaramaiah. He looks ahead. Doesn’t look for excuses, waives farm loans, provides canteens in cities and helps the oppressed,” Gandhi said.

After the rally ended around 5pm, Gandhi visited the Huligemma temple revered by Dalits in neighbouring Koppal district. He also went to Gavisiddeshwara Math, a Lingayat monastery in Koppal.

The Congress launching the yatra from mine-rich Ballari triggered talk of symbolic significance. Congress parliamentary party (CPP) chief Sonia Gandhi had made her maiden entry to Parliament from the district in 1999, when she defeated BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in a fierce contest. She gave up the Ballari seat, and represented Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 18:11 IST