HITTING BACK at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks in Assam that “one family” was not allowing the Rajya Sabha to function and blocking passage of Bills, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday asked him “not to make excuses” and “run the country” for which he has been elected. He said farmers, working class and even the industrialists were “crying” and claimed the BJP government was acting “only in the interest of three or four of their crony capitalist friends”.
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Separately, Rahul told state Congress chiefs to go on an offensive against BJP state governments if they try to “centralise power”. He told them to set up panels at state, district and block levels to monitor implementation of eight flagship initiatives of the UPA government. He held a four-hour meeting with AICC general secretaries and PCC chiefs to discuss implementation of MGNREGA, forest rights act, food security scheme and other initiatives of the UPA government.
Rahul, sources said, referred to the BJP governments in Haryana and Rajasthan fixing minimum education qualifications for those contesting panchayat polls and argued it was against the spirit of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution for creation of the Panchayati Raj structure. He called them attempts to centralise power.
Rahul said he wanted to get a sense from the PCC presidents on “how the BJP and its governments, the RSS is attacking and trying to destroy these (food security, MGNREGA and forest rights) Acts.” The Congress, he said, would put pressure on the government to pay attention to the pain of farmers, workers and labourers”.
Speaking to reporters, he said, “Farmers are in distress… they are committing suicide, workers and those running small businesses are in distress… The Prime Minister is yet to understand that his job is to run the country. His job is not to make excuses. He should start running the country.”
Asked about the Prime Minister’s statement that one family was blocking Rajya Sabha, he said, “All that the Prime Minister has been doing for the past 18 months is to make excuses why the economy is not running, why the farmers are not getting their due, why the labourers are not getting what they should get. India did not choose Narendra Modi to make excuses. India chose a leader and the leader should not make excuses. The leader should do the job that he has been elected to do.”