Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should keep his expensive ‘suit-boot’ aside and visit the villages of Chhattisgarh to see the benefits of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
Gandhi asked people to refrain from supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he makes tall claims of his ‘acche din’.
“Prime Minister Modi has criticized the UPA’s MNREGA programme. He said in the Parliament that he is not going to shut down MNREGA to keep the memory of UPA’s failures alive… If he keeps his Rs.15 lakh worth suit-boot aside and visits the villages here then he will see the benefits of MNREGA,” Gandhi said while addressing a rally here on Wednesday.
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“But he won’t come here. He goes to the U.S., Australia, but won’t come to the villages of Chhattisgarh. He will come here after five years, give a speech and say ‘acche din’ has come. Then you must teach him a lesson, but for now you will have to bear with him,” he added.
Gandhi told people that the NDA Government at the Centre was least concerned about the poor.
“Today I would like to tell you whose ‘acche din’ has come and whose bad days have come. ‘Acche din’ have come for a few industrialists and bad days have come for the poor people of Chhattisgarh,” he said.
“Last year during Modi ji’s campaign, he kept mentioning development and ‘acche din’, but I did not hear him talk about the poor. What is this development? I am going to tell you. It is about taking land from the poor, from the farmers and tribals and then saying that development will come… How many of you got benefits from this development? No one has told me so far that development has reached them,” he added.
Gandhi further said that India does not need ‘development’ as envisioned by the NDA regime, adding that the nation needs inclusive development.
“Coal mines have been built on your lands. The industrialists are earning crores, but did you get anything out of it? We do not want such development. We want development, which is inclusive, which reaches poor, women, everyone. What the NDA calls ‘India shining’, ‘acche din’ are not wanted,” he said.
Gandhi also took part in a padyatra with the farmers and workers from Saradih village in Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh.
The Congress vice-president is presently on a two-day visit to Chhattisgarh during which he met the villagers affected by coal mining and power projects.