Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday claimed that the accused in the Unnao rape case were being protected. He was speaking at a farmers’ chaupal on the first of his three-day visit to party bastions Amethi and Rae Bareli. Alleging that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had waived loans worth crores for the richest in the country, Rahul asked how much had been waived for farmers. He also accused the present dispensation of claiming credit for development works undertaken by his party in Amethi.
At the farmers’ chaupal in Amethi, he said, “Unnao mein jin logon ne larki ka balatkar kiya, unki raksha ki gayi, unki madad ki gayi… (The Unnao accused are being helped and protected).” He added that he didn’t wish to speak about the state government. When local residents said they wanted him to raise some issues affecting them, Rahul spoke about stray animals destroying crops in villages, adding that once the Congress comes to power in the state, it would be a government of farmers and youth.
Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had waived loans of upto Rs 2.5 lakh crore for 15 of the richest people in the country, he said that when asked in Parliament, the finance minister had said that his government does not have any policy for loan waivers for farmers. “Sabse amir logon ka dhai lakh crore rupya Narendra Modi sarkar ne maaf kiya…. kisanon ke liye Narendra Modi ne desh mein kitna karja maaf kiya…” he asked. The Congress chief further claimed that diamantaire Nirav Modi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi know each other very well, adding that while people involved in corruption were fleeing the country, “desh ka chaukidar ek shabd nahi kehta hai…(the country’s guard does not speak a word)”
On development in Amethi, Rahul accused the present government of taking credit for projects developed by his party. “Yeh sadken jo yahan bani humne banayi, food park…petroleum institute kisne diya, humnein diya…triple IIT kisne diya…cheena kisne…Modiji ne… yeh sachai hai.. bhuliye mat…” (These roads, food park, petroleum institute, IIT was provided by us… who snatched it? Modiji did…that is the truth…don’t forget it.”
Promising development for his constituency when his party comes to power, he added that that till then, the party was ready for struggle to raise public issues. “Jaise hi Congress party ki sarkar ayegi, Amethi mein teji se kaam shuru ho jayega (As soon as Congress comes to power, work will start at a quick pace in Amethi),” he said. After the chaupal, Rahul was scheduled to inaugurate a 5 km road in Thori area.
However, BJP objected to the same. BJP district president Uma Shanker said, “Neither the district administration nor the engineer of the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna scheme had officially given any programme for inauguration as the road is still incomplete. Moreover, the road is constructed through central funds, so how can just an MP inaugurate it? As per rules, a local minister either from the state or Centre should preside over such a function.” “Narendra Modi ki sarkar hai, sarak woh banwayenge aur lokarpan karenge Rahul Gandhi.. yeh to koi baat nahi hui…” Shanker told The Indian Express. Rahul later shelved his plan to inaugurate the road and inspected the site instead.