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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Poverty, unemployment, GST: Rahul Gandhi’s 14 questions to Narendra Modi

Moving away from the style of sending a barrage of questions in election rallies, the Congress chief has picked a few issues for each day effectively drawing more attention on the issues.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
December 12, 2017 6:57:44 pm
Rahul Gandhi public meeting at anjar in Kutch, during Gujarat Election. (Express photo javed raja)

The Congress party was lagging behind its rival, the BJP, when it came to using social media to propagate the party’s agenda among the masses. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, then PM candidate Narendra Modi had effectively used various social media platforms in cornering the Manmohan Singh-led UPA II government. But during the ongoing Gujarat assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi seems to have made a remarkable shift. The Congress’ president-elect posed 14 questions to the BJP and Prime Minister Modi on Twitter with the tag line “22 saalon ka hisaab, Gujarat maange Jawaab (Gujarat demands answers and account of [BJP’s] 22-year-rule in the state.”

Here are the 14 questions that Rahul asked PM Modi on Twitter since November 29.

November 29, Question 1: Rahul had asked PM Modi: “First question for PM Modi on the situation of Gujarat: It was promised in 2012 that 50 lakh new houses will be made. In five years, only 4.72 lakh have been built. PM must answer whether it will take 45 years to complete this promise?”

November 30, Question 2: The second question was on the comparison between the debt on Gujarat in 1995 (before BJP came to power) and in 2007 (when the BJP was in power).

“Second question on the condition of Gujarat to the prime minister: In 1995, the debt on Gujarat was Rs 9,183 crore. In 2017, the debt on Gujarat is Rs 2,41,000 crore. This means that debt per Gujarat citizen is Rs 37,000. Why should the people of Gujarat pay the price for your financial mismanagement and publicity,” he asked.

December 1, Question 3: The third question was directed at the earnings of utility firms during the last three BJP governments in Gujarat. “The third question to the PM: Between 2002-16, Why was electricity worth Rs 62,549 crore bought to fill the pockets of four private companies? The production capacity of government’s power-production plants was reduced by 62 per cent but why was electricity of Rs 3 per unit bought at Rs 24 per unit from private firms? Why was public money wasted?” Rahul questioned.

December 2, Question 4: The fourth question raised the issue of high cost of education. “Fourth question for the PM: At the cost of schools and colleges, education was made a business. Every student suffered the brunt of high fees. How will the dream of ‘New India’ be fulfilled. Why is Gujarat ranked 26th in terms of government’s expenditure on education? What is the fault of the youth?”

December 3, Question 5: Rahul then raised the issue of women’s safety, exploitation and general malnourishment. “Fifth question for the PM: No security, no education, no nourishment, the only thing women got was exploitation. Worers of Anganwadi of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist), all got disappointment. Only promises were made to Gujarat’s women, but there was no intention to complete them.”

December 4, Question 6: “Sixth question for the PM: BJP’s double assault; on one hand the youth is unemployed and on the other lakhs of contractual and fixed-wage workers left unsatisfied. When the 7th central pay commission fixed a monthly pay of 18,000, why do fixed wagers get only Rs 5,500 and contractual workers only Rs 10,000? Rahul asked PM Modi in his sixth question.

December 5, Question 7: In his next attack, Rahul then asked the prime minister “whether the BJP is only a party for the rich?”

December 6, Question 8: He raised a question on the neonatal mortality rate in the state. “39 per cent children are suffering from malnourishment. The neonatal mortality rate in 33 out of every 1,000 newborns. The cost of medical care is increasing and there is a dearth of doctors. In Bhuj, a ‘friend’ was given government hospital for 99 years. Is this your medical arrangement,” Rahul asked.

December 7, Question 9: Taking the issue of farmers a couple of days before the first phase of polling in the state, Rahul took a Gabbar Singh jibe at the PM and asked in his ninth question. “Neither the loans were waived off, nor the right price paid for crops; the crop insurance sum was also not paid. Tubewells for irrigation were also not set up. Gabbar Singh’s assault on farming, land taken away, farmer left without work. Answer prime minister, why this behaviour with the farmer?”

December 8, Question 10: In his 10th question, Rahul asked the PM: “The land of the tribals was snatched away from them, they were not even given any rights on the forests, Lakhs of land agreements are stuck, neither did the schools work, nor were hospitals provided. The homeless was not provided a house and no work for the unemployed. The tribals have been broken. Where is the Rs 55,000 crore from the vanbandhu yojana?”

December 9, Question 11: Rahul questioned as to why there was no mention of development in PM Modi’s speeches this time and why there was no answer to the ten questions he asked. He also asked why there was no manifesto from the BJP even till the end of first phase of campaigning–whether only speeches were the order of the day. “80 per cent engineers are sitting jobless. Tata Nana was just talk, the car didn’t work. Those who ask for jobs are shot, you have gambled with the future of the youth. Education sold, examinations sold, schools and colleges made shops; Modiji why was the honour of education centres sold?

December 10, Question 12: A day after the first day of polls in the state, Rahul posed questions on GST and the troubles of the traders: “Small-mid sized merchants are stricken, big industrialists are revelling. Dual assault of GST and note ban; Whether it be Surat, Rajkot, Alang or Anjar, Gujarat’s trade was destroyed. Will your government take accountability?”

December 11, Question 13: In his 13th question, Rahul took up the issue of quashing of Lokpal, GSPC and other controversies. “You said the government will be accountable, answer why was Lokpal bypassed? GSPC (Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation), electricity-metro scams, silence on Shah-Jada (jibe at Amit Shah) every time, desperate for fill the pockets of friends. The list in long. And the question is to the ‘silent sir’, for whose ‘achhe din’ (good days) was this government made?” he asked.

December 12, Question 14: In his latest and 14th question on Tuesday, Rahul asked the PM: “No land, no employment, no health, no education, all that the dalits of Gujarat got was insecurity. Modiji is silent on the tragic incident of Una; then who will take accountability for the incident? There were many laws made in the name of dalits. But who will execute them properly?”


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