Facing constant attack from the ruling party at Centre for supporting “anti-nationals” over ongoing JNU row, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Friday hit back saying “patriotism” runs in his blood and he does not need any certificate from RSS and BJP. He said neither he nor the Congress and its president were afraid of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who “doesn’t speak truth, doesn’t fulfil promises”.
“Rashtrabhakti mere khoon me hai (Patriotism is in my blood)…32 bullets were fired at (grandmother) Indira Gandhi and my father (Rajiv Gandhi) was also assassinated for the cause of this country. My family has taught me lessons in patriotism…we have not learnt anything else. So I do not need any certificate from RSS or BJP,” Rahul said in Amethi.
Addressing a series of meetings here, the Congress leader kept attacking Modi and said a situation has come in the country where attempts are being made to suppress all voices of dissent.
“Today, whoever speaks against Modiji, is being threatened. But neither me, nor the Congress or its president are afraid of him. We are going to form government in every state now. People of Bihar rejected him. People of Assam are going to do the same, and then in 2019, people of the entire country will reject him,” he said at a public meeting in Salon area of Amethi.
Asking people to remember that “Narendra Modi does not speak the truth and fails to fulfil promises”, Rahul targeted the BJP government at Centre for rising prices of pulses and failing to bring back the black money. “We are going to fight for the rights of poor and if he (Modi) cannot fulfil his promises, then he should step out of the way,” Rahul said addressing locals in Suchi village.
Making light of Modi’s flagship project Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Rahul said, “He is running clean India campaign but his own constituency, as per a recent survey, is among the lowest ranked cities in terms of cleanliness. His constituency is the dirtiest”.
Telling people that Modi has suddenly remembered farmers and is now holding rally for them, the Congress leader pointed out that “PM took a selfie with Obama but never with a farmer, labourer or an unemployed youth”. Rahul asked “what development works have been done by the Modi government” and claimed that “instead of the poor the central government was working for the industrialists”.
He even hit out at the “Make in India” campaign saying, “ask them, if the produce generated by farmers is not made in India”.
In a marked change from his earlier visit when he used to say that his hands are tied up as Congress does not have government in Uttar Pradesh or Centre, Rahul this time asked masses to come to him with their problems and he will try to solve them and even put pressure on the governments.
“We do not have governments (in UP or Centre) but still we will pressurise those in power. I will try to help as much as I can but for better performance you will have to bring Congress government in UP in 2017,” he repeated at almost every meeting and chaupal that he held .
During the day he had tea at the house of a Dalit, visited a local temple and inspected a MGNREGA work site.
‘SP, BSP represent particular section’
Addressing chaupals in Amethi, Rahul accused the Samajwadi Party and BSP of “representing” a “particular” section of the society and said this was the reason why Uttar Pradesh was “lagging behind” in development. “The governments that are formed in Uttar Pradesh belong to a particular section of society and this is why the state has lagged behind in the race of development”, he told presidents of gram sabhas here.
“When Mulayam Singh comes to power, he forms government of a particular section…Mayawati comes and she also makes government of another section…the state is not going to benefit from this,” he said, adding that “though people say that the Congress has been weakened in the state, but this is not the fact and they need to come to Rae Bareli and Amethi to see this”.
Exuding confidence that Congress will come to power in the state, he charged the Centre with attempting to snatch development of Amethi.
“After taking away the mega food park and Hindustan paper mill, they now want to take away the Rajiv Gandhi institute of information technology and the workers need to remain prepared for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress leader continued to face protests over lending support to the JNU agitation. ABVP workers tried to disrupt his entry into his constituency by waving black flags and asking him to go back. More than a dozen activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP’s youth wing, were rounded up while some were taken into custody by the district police for raising slogans against the Congress leader, Inspector in-charge S K Mishra said. He added that the decision to release the BJYM workers will be taken later. BJP youth wing leader Sudhanshu Shukla alleged that some Congress workers clashed with them. Later in the day, some BJP activists, led by district leader Chandra Mauli Singh, burnt an effigy of Rahul Gandhi.