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2019 Lok Sabha polls: Modi a chowkidar only for select industrialists, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi calls PM a chowkidar for “select industrialists”, whose loans worth lakhs of crores were written off by the government

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 16, 2019 00:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Congress president Rahul Gandhi with state Congress chief Ashok Chavan and other leaders at a rally in Nanded on Monday. Chavan is the Congress’s candidate from Nanded constituency.(HT)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a chowkidar for “select industrialists”. Gandhi also said his party’s NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) scheme, assuring a monthly deposit of ₹6,000 into the accounts of 20% of the poorest people across the country if it comes to power, was feasible and could be implemented without denting the economy. Gandhi said NYAY was a fitting reply to the anyay (injustice) done to people by Modi who had announced in his 2014 campaign that he would credit ₹15 lakh in the accounts of citizens.

Gandhi addressed a rally in Nanded for the party’s candidates from there and adjoining Hingoli, Latur constituencies. Congress’ state president Ashok Chavan is contesting from Nanded. Ten Lok Sabha constituencies are going to polls on April 18. This was the only rally addressed by Gandhi in the state for the second phase.

“I know ₹15 lakh was not possible, but why not ₹3.60 lakh in five years as assured under NYAY scheme. The scheme will help revive the economy, which has become sluggish owing to the demonetisation announced two years ago and the GST introduced in July 2017. Demonetisation and GST has taken away money from the pockets of the poor and small traders. Congress’s NYAY will ensure ₹72,000 per annum or ₹3.60 lakh in five years in the accounts of five crore families,” he said.

Modi last week in Nanded said the Congress wanted to burden the middle class with its schemes for the poor.

Gandhi alleged farmers were jailed for failing to pay off loans, but industrialists failing to repay were never punished. “Modi government wrote off bad loans worth ₹3.5 -lakh crore for a handful of industrialists such as Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi,” he said. The Congress chief said Modi does not have the courage to debate on issues, including the Rafale deal and businesses of the BJP president’s son. “I asked several questions to him in the Parliament , including the change in the price of Rafale from ₹526 crore to ₹1,600 crore and why the contract was given to Anil Ambani’s company, which had no experience of manufacturing aircraft. Modi had no answers to any of them and had no courage to make eye contact with me during his 90-minute reply in the Lok Sabha,” he said.

Gandhi said the present unemployment rate was the lowest in the last 45 years. “We do not want to indulge in tall promises of two crore jobs , but want to bring the facts before you. (If elected to power) we will fill 22 lakh posts in government in a year and create 10 lakh jobs at panchayat level. There will be abolition of inspector raj to encourage youngsters to start their businesses,” he said.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 00:44 IST