Congress President Rahul Gandhi, sounding the poll bugle for the 2019 general elections, on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continued silence over issues related to corruption, women safety, bank loan frauds and foreign ammunition deals during a ‘Jan Aakrosh rally’ in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan. The rally, Gandhi’s first in Delhi as party president, was organised by the Congress to corner the BJP just weeks before the Karnataka elections. Gandhi said, “The Congress will win every election from now on and will also emerge victorious in 2019.”
Slamming PM Modi for failing to deliver on his promises made in the 2014 election campaign, Rahul Gandhi said, “When PM Modi speaks, people have to search hard for shreds of truth within his speeches.” Targetting power minister Piyush Goyal over charges of corruption, Gandhi said, “Union Minister Piyush Goyal makes dubious business deals benefitting companies linked to him through his position. However, PM Modi doesn’t utter a single word on this.” He also raised last year’s Doklam standoff with China in his speech. “Modi ji did not speak a single word on Doklam during his visit to China. What kind of prime minister is he,” asked Gandhi at the rally.
Sharpening his attack against PM Modi, Gandhi also raised the recent rapes in Kathua and Unnao and the alleged crisis in the higher judiciary. “Under PM Modi, for the first time in the history of our country, Supreme Court judges have had to reach out to people for justice. For the first time an Indian prime minister was asked on foreign soil to safeguard the women of this country.”
Gandhi added that the BJP-RSS combine only spread hatred and fear among the people, while it is the Congress which spreads love and peace. “Their machinery and Modi ji spread lies about Congress, its workers and leadership, now he is being exposed because we have worked to unite this country in last 70 years, unlike the BJP.” he said.
Referring to the recent flight scare where a technical snag forced the aircraft in which he was travelling in to drop 8000 feet mid-air, he said, “When plane started dropping, at that moment I thought that I have to go to Kailash Mansarovar.” He said he will visit Mansarowar following the Karnataka Assembly elections.
Speaking at the rally, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged people to mobilise under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. She said, “It is saddening to see that our society is suffering from unprecedented violence and hatred today. People from every section of society are suffering. The nation is going through turbulent times under PM Modi. Our country is going through a difficult time. We must all unite and stay alert to fight against this regime.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was one of the speakers, called the Modi govt “anti-farmer”. He said, “The Modi Government’s anti-farmer policies have resulted in an unprecedented agrarian distress in the country. Our farmers are demanding justice from the Modi Government. Unemployment is on the rise and the youth of the country are distressed. Students taking loans for education are wondering how they will repay these loans if they do not get jobs.” Singh also targetted the government over the rise in oil prices despite the drop in the international markets. Referring to the recent washout of the Budget session in Parliament, Singh said that the constitutional institutions are under attack, and Parliament is not being allowed to function and the legislation is being bulldozed. “Our democracy is in danger,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, BJP President Amit Shah slammed the Grand Old Party for holding the rally. “A dynasty and their courtiers, who were sent out of state after state by ‘Jan Aadesh’ now pretend to represent ‘Jan Akrosh.’ Today’s Congress rally is nothing but a ‘Parivar Akrosh Rally’ which highlights their increasing irrelevance,” he tweeted. “I also hope the Congress president apologizes to the nation for the party’s efforts to trample over every possible institution in the country just because of their power-hungry nature. The country is tired of these negative and arm-twisting tactics of the Congress,” he added.