A DAY after BJP veteran L K Advani cautioned party leaders against branding the Opposition as “anti-national”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “insulting” his guru and asked whether disrespecting a teacher was part of Hinduism.
“Gurus are given a lot of importance in Hinduism. And Advaniji is Modiji’s guru. A disciple never folds hands in front of the guru. Advaniji was kicked off the stage (Joote maar ke Advaniji ko utara stage se). Then they speak of Hindu religion. Where is it written in religious teachings to beat people, to indulge in violence? Nowhere,” Rahul told a gathering at Chanda Club Ground in Chandrapur town while campaigning for party candidate Suresh Dhanorkar, who is contesting against MoS (Home) and three-time MP Hansraj Ahir.
Rahul said this election is a fight between differing ideologies, terming the BJP camp as full of “hatred, anger and division”.
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“Modiji abuses someone wherever he goes. Whereas the Congress party, wherever we go, we speak with love. We talk about justice, about helping labourers and the poor. The fight in 2019 is about ideologies and the Congress party’s ideology will emerge victorious. This is a country of brotherhood and love. Nobody will gain from hatred here. We have to take this nation forward together with love and while including everyone. This will begin in 2019,” he added.
Addressing an almost occupied ground, Rahul also reiterated some points in the party’s election manifesto, promising a separate budget for farmers and depositing Rs 6,000 every month in bank accounts of the country’s poorest citizens.
He accused the Prime Minister of waiving farm loans across the country while allowing businessmen like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya to flee the country after committing bank frauds.
“It takes Rs 35,000 crore a year to operate MGNREGA. But Modiji has given that money to Nirav Modi. Once we are voted into power, the money which Modiji has given to 15 people will be sent directly to your bank accounts. Every time a farmer or labourer needs money, Modiji says that there is no money. But there is always enough money to give to Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya, Anil Ambani and Adani. The PM is confusing and misleading you. None of these people have ever been caught, only debt-ridden farmers are jailed. This is why we have decided that farmers who cannot repay loans will not be arrested,” he said.
He also took a dig at BJP’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign, calling the PM a chowkidar of only the rich. “Have you ever seen chowkidars in front of homes of farmers and labourers? The chowkidar only serves the richest,” he claimed.
Rahul further claimed that the BJP in Vidarbha failed to fulfil its promise to build a modern logistics hub and to set up markets for farmers at airports. “The BJP has done nothing for farmers in Vidarbha. In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, work is on to build food processing units near farms and equip them with storage facilities,” he said.
Earlier in the day, while addressing a rally in Wardha, Rahul accused Modi of taking credit for the Balakot air strike.
“The Prime Minister says he did it. You (Modi) did it? Could you please show (us) how to hold a rifle? Hold a rifle, the way our CRPF men do, for just five minutes. Or travel in a bus alone in Jammu and Kashmir. Show us. You did the air strike? What did you do? The Air Force carried out the bombing,” he said.
He added that Modi, during his rally in Wardha a few days ago, did not talk about employment or apologise for the closure of factories after demonetisation and imposition of GST. Rahul said that unlike the BJP, the Congress wants one India where there is justice for farmers, traders and the youth, but in which big industrialists also have a place.
(With PTI inputs)