Rahul Gandhi wraps up Tamil Nadu campaign; attacks AIADMK, BJP
- “The chief minister is corrupt so he’s being controlled by the prime minister,” said Gandhi during his roadshow in Karur district.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrapped his three-day campaign tour of poll-bound Tamil Nadu’s western region capitalising on the ongoing farmers' protest and the state’s view that the ruling AIADMK’s ally, the BJP, is attempting to impose its ideology.
In his aggressive campaign, Gandhi on Monday targeted chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami and launched attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-RSS combine.
“The chief minister is corrupt so he’s being controlled by the prime minister,” said Gandhi during his roadshow in Karur district. “Why is the CBI, the enforcement directorate not investigating the chief minister of Tamil Nadu like it's happening in other states? What is he giving in exchange to Modi? Did the chief minister have the guts to raise questions against demonetisation and GST? The BJP- RSS is controlling Tamil Nadu. The RSS ideology is anti-Tamil,” he said.
Later in the day, Gandhi went on a bullock cart and interacted with farmers in a coconut farm in Karur and listened to their grievances. “We are stopping these laws and protecting your interests because these are criminal laws,” the former Congress chief said on the three new farm bills. Gandhi reiterated the NYAY scheme as a "revolutionary idea" promised by the Congress in its 2019 election manifesto to protect the poor.
Speaking to reporters regarding Arnab Goswami's leaked Whatsapp chats on the Balakot strike, Gandhi said that it was a breach of Official Secrets Act, 1923. He said that he had spoken on this issue to AK Antony, former defence minister during the UPA regime.
“The PM, defence minister, home minister, NSA and the air force chief - those are the five people (who know of a top-secret operation of this nature) according to our UPA defence minister. Now the question is, who of the five people has told this journalist about the Balakot mission,” Gandhi said. “If it is not the prime minister, why has he not ordered an enquiry and said ‘treason has taken place…’ The only reason he’s not done anything is because he is involved in this type of information leak,” he said.
Besides farmers, Gandhi met weavers, industrial labourers and MSME representatives and spoke at roadshows to large gatherings in the districts including Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Erode. These are western regions of the state and the AIADMK's stronghold. Congress’ longstanding ally, the DMK, is working to breach these bastions.
The BJP in Tamil Nadu has been countering Gandhi’s comments stating that PM Modi hosted Chinese premier Xi Jinping in Mahabalipuram and often quotes Thirukural. In a bid to connect with Tamil voters, the party went on a ‘vetrivel yatra’ (victorious spear march) across the state where popular Tamil deity Lord Murugan carries the vel (spear).
Gandhi will make a series of visits covering across Tamil Nadu ahead of the assembly polls.
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