Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Nagpur on Thursday.(PTI)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Nagpur on Thursday.(PTI)

‘Did Modi launch air strike from RCR’: Rahul Gandhi’s potshot at PM on Balakot

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has launched fresh attack on PM Modi over IAF strike at a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Hindustan Times, Wardha, Maharashtra | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 05, 2019 06:41 PM IST

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday renewed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid Bharatiya Janata Party leaders giving him the credit for recent air strike at a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in the aftermath of Pulwama attack in February.

“Attack happened in Pulwama. The air force personnel dropped bomb in Pakistan. They showed courage. Prime Minister says he did it. Did you do this? Show that you can hold a rifle even for five minutes like a CRPF jawan does…Air force dropped the bomb, CRPF jawans were martyred. But no, (they say) Narendra Modi did it...Did (he do) it while sitting in the Race Course Road (now renamed as the Lok Kalyan Marg),” said Gandhi in a speech that was filled with sarcasm aimed at the prime minister.

This came in the backdrop of BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath raising the issue in their public speeches crediting PM Modi for the IAF strike at the terror camp. PM Modi himself has referred to the Balakot strike to target the Opposition particularly the Congress saying that the armed forces were in the past denied permission to carry out a similar strike to “teach terrorists a lesson”.

The Congress president also targeted PM Modi in his election rallies in Maharashtra over the issues of unemployment and farm distress. He reiterated his charge that PM Modi made false promises in 2014 and that he “worked as chowkidar of bit industrialists”.

“Did Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise when he came here (Wardha) for making false promises in 2014 about giving Rs 15 lakh to the poor and providing 2 crore jobs,” Gandhi said.

PM Modi had addressed a public rally in Wardha earlier this week, when he attacked the Congress over “Hindu terror” saying that the Opposition party, when it was power, coined the phrase to target “an entire community”.

In his comeback, Gandhi accused PM Modi of “ruining the economy” and depriving the poor of job opportunities. “Narendra Modi conducted surgical strike on the poor through demonetisation, GST (goods and services tax). He thinks media is with me. It will run what I want. He thinks India can’t raise its voice. It does not. But it gives a silent shock. You will see this in 2019. India will throw the chowkidar out,” Gandhi said.

The Congress president said the party’s poll promise of minimum income guarantee scheme will revive the economy and create job opportunities after the elections if it is voted to power.

“We have promised NYAY (standing for Nyuntam Aay Yojana) to the poor. We will provide cash support of Rs 72,000 to every poor family…We will give NYAY. Men may not like it but brothers, money under NYAY will be deposited in the bank accounts of women,” Gandhi said adding, “Demonetisation, GST ruined Indian economy. NYAY will jumpstart Indian economy.”

Earlier in the day interacting with students in Pune, Gandhi said countered the BJP’s allegation that the Congress plans to raise taxes to fund NYAY. “The middle class will not be taxed and income tax will not be increased to implement the Nyay scheme,” he told the students.

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