Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM Modi says prices of rice, wheat, kerosene and LPG to rise if Congress comes to power
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that inflation would go up if the Congress returned to power as he raised the spectre of hike in prices of subsidised rice and wheat as well as kerosene and LPG if the Congress’ proposed minimum income scheme of Rs 72000 a year is implemented.
In his sharpest-ever attack on the Congress’ Nyuntam Aay Yojana promised in its manifesto earlier this week, Modi told an election rally in western Odisha district of Sonepur that the Congress wants to implement policies that would lead to massive rise in prices of subsidised rice, wheat, kerosene and LPG. Referring to Congress advisor Sam Pitroda’s remarks that taxes on middle class may be raised to fund the proposed Nyay scheme, Modi called it a conspiracy of the party to snatch the rights of Dalits, tribals and farmers.
“Congress wants to implement such policies that would lead to hike in your kitchen expenses. The Congress leaders have started terming crores of Indians as selfish. They are saying middle class are selfish people and think of themselves. So they want to increase taxes on middle class people. Would the country be better off by breaking the back of middle class people? Would you give opportunity to those who want to snatch the rights of the poor? Would you not force them to forfeit their security deposit in this election?” he asked.
The Nyay scheme which proposes to give Rs 72000 a year to five crore poor Indian families is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 3.5 lakh crore a year. Though AICC chief Rahul Gandhi clarified on Friday that the middle class would not be taxed, the controversy over Pitroda’s remark has not died down.
Modi said as long as Congress is there, poverty can’t be removed. “It is their biggest political weapon and Congress does not want to lose it. Congress had several opportunities to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Congress kept on chanting gareebi hatao, but their leaders kept on becoming rich. So people of the country have started saying if Congress is removed, then poverty would end. If there is any remedy to remove poverty then that is Congress hatao,” he said.
Modi said when poverty-related schemes are used to raise money for middlemen then poverty would not end. “Today anyone who is corrupt is scared of Modi. This chowkidaar is a stumbling block for them,” he said.
Calling the alliance of opposition parties as “mahamilawat” (adulteration), he said these parties are on the lookout of forming a ‘majboor’ (helpless) government. “They don’t want a mazboot (strong) government but a majboor government. You decide you want a mazboot or majboor government,” he said.
The PM said the election will decide whether the chowkidar will remain or those who are indulging in corrupt practices. “This election will decide whether the heroes of Hindustan would be stronger or those who take the side of Pakistan. This election will decide whether our soldiers, farmers or youths would be honoured or the voices of the tukde-tukde gang will reverberate. This election will decide whether India would march along with superpowers or be in the grip of poverty, sickness and starvation. This election will decide whether India would invade the hideouts of the terrorists or tolerate the attacks in silence,” he said.
In a public meeting in Sundargarh district earlier Saturday, Modi had slammed Congress for its promise in its manifesto that the party would review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act if it comes to power.
“I am working on the ground to guard the honours of the worthy the sons of the country while Congress is on the field for those who work against the interests of the country. Your chowkidar is engaged in teaching a lesson to the terrorists and the Maoists, but Congress is busy defending those who give shelter to them,” he said.
Referring to the IAF strike at Balakot in Pakistan, Modi said India now enters the homes of terrorists and kills them. “There were governments earlier, but there was no surgical strike and airplanes did not eliminate terrorists’ hideouts by crossing the border of other countries. This is the evidence of changing India,” he said.
Calling himself as Pradhan sevak of Odisha, Modi also targeted chief minister Naveen Patnaik government and said it was for people of the State to decide whether they wanted an honest and hardworking govt at the State and Centre or a corrupt and incompetent one.
“Odisha is not poor and there is no shortage of skills among in the people. The State has resources and the people who can achieve their goals. What is lacking is right policy and the right ideals. If BJD’s principles were good, then they would have opened schools, hospitals and completed irrigation schemes with the royalty earned from mining,” he said.