Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi accusing him of being double-faced, saying on the one hand, he talks about UP’s development and on the other, he has joined hands with those who are humiliating people from the state.
Referring to Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s extension of support to Modi, Gandhi said when youths from Uttar Pradesh go to Maharashtra in search of employment they are beaten up by MNS and Shiv Sena activists.
“Modi talks about empowering people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar but joins hands with MNS and Shiv Sena who threaten people from states. He has one face there and another here,” the Congress top gun told an election rally at Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh.
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At another rally in Mirzapur in the same state, the Gandhi scion raked up the issue of attacks on North Indians in Mumbai and accused the BJP of double standards.
“Wherever there is a Congress government, there are jobs… in Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra. Youths of Uttar Pradesh go to Mumbai as jobs are available there.
“But the Shiv Sena, MNS and BJP people thrash them. And here they talk of development,” Gandhi said frantically wooing voters in the last lap of elections in politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh.
“They engineer riots six months before the elections. They will only make people fight with each other, but won’t talk of issues…employment, power, irrigation,” he said.
Referring to the attack on a Mangalore pub by a right-wing group a few years back, Gandhi said on the one hand they (BJP) attack women and on the other, they put up posters of women empowerment.
In an oblique reference to snoopgate row, Gandhi said women are scared to speak on their phones in Gujarat.
“Modi talks about empowerment of women under his government. Don’t women have power? They already have power, give them respect and rest they will do themselves,” he said.
Sharpening his attack on the saffron party, the Congress leader said the BJP wants an “India Shining” government where wealth is concentrated in the hands of 2-3 industrialists.
The Congress scion was apparently referring to NDA’s “India Shining campaign” at the rally in Mirzapur, some 100 kms from Sonbhadra.
Gandhi said Modi talks about Gujarat model of development but the Sikh farmers have been driven out of the state after taking their lands.
Modi had given 45,000 acres of fertile land to Adani, he alleged at the public meeting in Sonbhadra.
The Congress vice-president further alleged Modi gave nearly Rs 26,000 crore of electricity and Rs 15,000 crore of land to one industrialist which is much more than Rs 30,000 crore that the Congress gave to poor through MNREGA in a year.
Training his guns at UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Gandhi said “his government does not talk about welfare of the people or development of UP. You have a young CM, but he also disappointed us. Earlier you had a government led by Mayawati. It also did not do anything.”
The Congress leader said he would not talk about the BJP as it can never do anything good for the people.
“I do not have expectations from the BJP as it runs governments for only a handful of people,” he said.
“Just six months ahead of elections, Muzaffarnagar riots happened. This is what the opposition does everywhere in the country. They want development for 2-3 industrialists,” he said.
“The BJP, BSP or SP can do nothing for the people or for the state. They promote caste or religion-based politics. Only a Congress government can take this state forward.”
Gandhi said in the absence of a Congress government in Uttar Pradesh in the past 25 years, people have got nothing but big talks.
“What have you got in the last 25 years? Only big talks,” he said.
Highlighting flagship programmes of the UPA government like the Food Security Bill, MNREGA and Land Acquistion Act, Gandhi said if the UPA comes to power again, it will ensure right to housing and free medical facilities to the poor.
“We have been trying to improve conditions of the poor by providing various schemes that include 100 days job in a year under MNREGA and foodgrains.
“But we do not ask people what is your religion, what is your caste,” the Congress leader told a rally in Jaunpur.
He said during the 10 years of UPA rule, two times more roads were constructed and three times more power was produced compared to what happened during the NDA’s regime.
“If the UPA returns to power for a third time, we will ensure everyone in the country gets healthcare and medicine,” he said.
Gandhi promised that the UPA-III will provide all the poor — both rural and urban — in the country housing facility after enacting a law.
Gandhi said even the US President recognises the talent of youths of the country and the state.
The Congress vice-president said he wants to develop maufacturing hubs on national highways so that when the US President sees his watch the tag should be “Made in Mirzapur”.