Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said there is no place for the weaker sections and women in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heart and accused him of remaining silent when women, people from minorities, Dalit and tribal communities and poorer sections of the society are attacked.
Alleging that Modi calls industrialists such as Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others “bhai” (brother), even though they have allegedly “run away with thousands and crores”, Rahul said at a rally in Datia, Madhya Pradesh, “If you are not in a suit and boot, you are not his bhai (brother).”
Rahul addressed the rally after visiting the renowned Peetambara Peeth.
Accusing Modi of being against Dalits, he recalled University of Hyderabad PhD scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide. Rahul said, “Rohith Vemula just wanted to study. After a letter from the Education Minister, he was under pressure and committed suicide. Dalits are beaten in Gujarat but the Prime Minister does not say a word.”
Significantly, Rahul was speaking in a region that was recently rocked by caste violence. Seven people had died in violence after Dalit organisations called a bandh on April 2 over the Supreme Court verdict over SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is facing rape charges, Rahul accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Modi of trying to save him. “Neither was the MLA thrown out of the party nor did the PM mention him in his speeches,” he said. He also said that the government’s flagship programme Beti Padhao Beti Bachao should be called Betiko BJP ke MLA se Bachao (Save your daughter from BJP MLA).
The Congress leader said the country was very poor, without roads, railway tracks, universities or colleges when in 1947 but within 70 years has progressed fast enough to prompt former US President Barack Obama to say that only China and India can compete with the US. Referring to the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, he said Modi insulted the nation, its farmers, traders, workers and youngsters by comparing the country with a sleeping elephant and claiming that nothing was done before he assumed office in May 2014.