Updated: February 27, 2021 6:57:08 pm
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Sino-India border standoff, charging him with being ‘scared’ of the eastern neighbour and took a swipe at him for being only ‘useful to two people.’ Launching his three-day Tamil Nadu tour ahead of the April 6 assembly elections, he attacked Modi, BJP and the RSS on a number of issues, including the fall of Congress-led governments in Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, alleging that they were ‘bought’ by the saffron party.
Interacting with advocates here, the Wayanad Lok Sabha MP reiterated his ‘hum do hamare do’ jibe at the ruling dispensation at the Centre.
Gandhi said that before the stand-off at eastern Ladakh, where the disengagement process has been completed with the withdrawal of troops, weapons and other military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong lake areas, the Chinese ‘tested the idea in Dokhlam (in 2017).’ ‘Essentially the Chinese occupied certain strategic areas in our country. They first tested the idea in Dokhlam.
They tested the idea to see how would India react and they noticed India did not react. And then they carried out the idea again in Ladakh and also I believe in Arunachal Pradesh,’ he said.
Speaking in detail over the border standoff, Gandhi said Modi’s first reaction to the Chinese incursions was ‘that nobody has come into India.’ ‘That indicated to the Chinese that the Prime Minister of India is scared of them.. they understood it.
And since then the Chinese have negotiated on that principle,’ he said.
‘They know that the Prime Minister of India cannot stand up to them. Mark my words, our land in Depsang, which is the most important land, is not going to come back to under this government.
The Prime Minister will not get that land back. He will pretend everything is sorted out, but India is going to lose that territory,’ he charged.
Giving such a message to the Chinese was ‘very dangerous to the future because the Chinese are not going to stop with Ladakh,’ he alleged.
He said the government under the Congress ‘always dealt with the Chinese without any hesitation.’ ‘The Chinese understood very well that India cannot be pushed around. Even in 2013 when the Chinese entered into India, we took action that forced them, forced them to compromise…we went and occupied other spaces,’ he said.
‘They have now understood the Prime Minister doesn’t have the courage…the Chinese know the Prime Minister is going to compromise,’ he added.
To a question, he said Prime Minister Modi was useful to ‘two people.’ ‘The Prime Minister–the question is not whether he is useful or useless– the question is to who is he useful to–I am useful to farmers of this country, poor people, woman and youngsters.’ ‘Narendra Modi is useful to two people. He is extremely useful because those two people are using the Prime Minister of India to increase their wealth dramatically.
When the time comes they will throw him like that…. he is useless to the poor people. He is very useful to hum do hamare do,’ Gandhi lashed out.
On the fall of party-led governments earlier in Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Puducherry recently, he said that Congress has to win by a two-thirds majority to stay strong.
‘If the Congress wins by 10-15 seats (margin) it is not a win, it is a loss, because BJP just buys people. That is what we are facing,’ he said.
‘If we look at Madhya Pradesh, attempt in Rajasthan, Goa, attempt going on in Jharkhand, Puducherry, Arunachal–these are all Congress governments. People gave us the mandate. The concentration of capital took the mandate away from us.’ He said he was aware of the amount of the ‘massive money thrown’ at MLAs in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
To a question, he said he was lucky to have the good sense in his whole political career to be an honest person.
‘They can’t touch me, no ED, no CBI, nothing is going to affect me. That is why BJP 24/7 attacks me and knows this man is not corrupt and it has no leverage on me,’ he said.
Every institution, including the judiciary, was either under attack or was ‘penetrated’ by the BJP and RSS in the last six years, he said and batted for a minimum cooling period for judges to get post-retirement appointments.
‘We have seen examples where judges have taken decisions that the government wants and then they are given plum posts,’ he charged.
Democracy was ‘dead’ in the country, he said and blamed the RSS. Misuse of sedition laws, threatening and killing of people were the symptoms of the problem, he added.
There was also a ‘full scale assault’ on secularism.
Such issues could be addressed only with ‘mass action’ involving people. It was happening outside Delhi, he said, referring to the farmers’ agitation against the new Central farm laws.
He reiterated his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the farm laws. The agriculture system need to be reformed, but not by destroying it, he added.
He also highlighted the need for Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to be open to scrutiny and ‘random’ checks.
Later, interacting with salt pan workers, he recalled his party’s poll-time promise of providing Rs 72,000 under the Nyay scheme and assured to implement it if voted to power.
He said it was strange that people who consume salt hardly realise how it is made or the difficulties of salt pan workers.
‘People don’t even realise there is salt in the vaccine shots they get as you have mentioned…’ he added.
The Congress leader also visited a salt pan.
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