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Rahul Gandhi in Amethi: If Modi can’t help youth and farmers, he should say so; Cong will do it in 6 months

Gandhi has sharpened his attack on the government in recent weeks amid growing concerns over economic growth.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2017 23:17 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Amethi
Narendra Modi,Amethi,Rahul Gandhi
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressing public in Amethi on October 4.(Twitter/ANI Photo)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday stepped up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying if the PM was not able to provide jobs to youths and help farmers he should make way for the Congress.

Addressing a chaupal (meeting) of farmers at Kathaura village on the first day of his three-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi on Wednesday, he said: “Modi should not waste India’s time. He should begin providing jobs to the youth. There are two main issues in India, the issue of farmers and that of providing employment. Others are smaller issues. If Modiji is not able to do it, he should tell the Congress to take over and we will do this work in six months.”

This was Rahul Gandhi’s first visit to Amethi after the Congress debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held earlier this year.

Referring to the BJP’s poll promises, he said anger was rising against the PM for failing to deliver on promises. “Everybody in India is aware that this person (Modi) promised us two crore jobs and he is not able to do so. This is hurting. Modi speaks about Make in India and start-ups but does not give jobs. Now, anger is rising… wherever you go. Farmers are committing suicide,” the Amethi MP said..

Charging the BJP with ignoring schemes like food park and other projects meant for the development of Amethi, he said, “It is unfortunate that the BJP has harmed the interest of people of Amethi...this is wrong. Their (BJP’s) thinking is like this only...but I will fight for you all.”

He said Make in India and start-up campaigns will have no meaning if there is no talk about ‘Make inAmethi’ and ‘Make in UP’.

He also mentioned BJP chief Amit Shah’s description of promises as “election jumlas”. Gandhi has sharpened his attack on the government in recent weeks amid growing concerns over economic growth, which slumped to a three-year-low of 5.7% last quarter.

The slowdown suggested the underlying momentum in the economy was still weak, posing a challenge to the Modi government that must produce masses of jobs to absorb a million people entering the workforce every month.

India was generating only 450 jobs for 30,000 youths per day, Gandhi said, adding this was much lower than China which was giving 50,000 jobs per day.

As an opposition leader, he said he wanted to make a suggestion to the Modi government to think about GST again.

“I have a suggestion for Modiji. Think about GST again. The Congress said there should be one tax and not more than 18%. The tax rate should be low. The government should simplify it and speak to small shop owners. This is my suggestion as an opposition leader,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said the RSS and the BJP were implementing the Congress programmes though these organisations spoke against them.

Rahul specifically referred to the rural job guarantee scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

He said Modi first called the scheme useless and later praised it.

“The Congress works out programmes for the people in consultation with them. Modi does not consult the people. he gave Swachh Bharat without asking people whether they needed the programme. He tells people to take up brooms… this does not work,” said the Congress leader.

Rahul began his address with the problems of farmers of Kathaura village that he took up with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in Lucknow on August 1.

He referred to his fight for farmers and UPA government’s land acquisition law brought to help them.

“I am told your file has been sent to Delhi (NHAI) and we will keep up the pressure,” said Gandhi.

First Published: Oct 04, 2017 18:06 IST