AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Monday attempted to strike a chord with Punjab’s electorate by broaching the issue of the 1984 riots and bashing Congress leader Sam Pitroda for his “hua toh hua” remarks, besides launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid slogans of “chowkidar chor hai” by Congress workers.
In his 27-minute address at a rally in Gaggar Majra village in Khanna district in favour of party candidate Dr Amar Singh, Rahul said, “Maine Sam Pitroda ji ko bola Sam pitroda ji ne 1984 ke baare mein bola wo bilkul galat bola hai, aur inko desh se iske liye maafi maangni chahiye. Main publicly bol raha hu yehi maine unko phone karke kaha ke Sam Pitroda ji aapne bilkul galat bola hai, sharam aani chahiye aapko aur public apology maango (I told Sam Pitroda-ji that whatever he said about the 1984 riots is wrong and he should apologise to the nation for his remarks. I am saying this publicly and I told him the same on a telephone call that whatever you said was absolutely wrong, you should be ashamed and must apologise to the people).”
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Asking people to vote for Dr Amar Singh, who he said was involved in preparing the MGNREGA scheme and Food Security Act during UPA rule, Rahul lashed out at Modi for his unfulfilled promises like 2 crore jobs every year, and crediting of Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts. “Nahi” (no), shouted the crowd as Rahul asked if anyone got the jobs promised by Modi.
Hitting out at the Prime Minister for demonetisation and “Gabbar Tax” (GST), Rahul attempted to woo farmers, women, youth, BPL families and labourers alike by reiterating the promises made in the Congress manifesto.
Hardselling the proposed NYAY scheme, Rahul said that 5 crore women would get Rs 6,000 every month under the scheme if Congress was voted to power. Referring to farmers, he said they helped the country usher in the era of green revolution. He said that under the Congress rule no farmer would go to jail for not repaying their loans and, 150 days of assured employment would be provided under MGNREGA instead of 100 days.
To attract youth, he said there were 22 lakh government vacancies in the country. “Within one year of our rule, all these jobs would be given to you. As many as 10 lakh youths can get employment in panchayats,” he said.
Dubbing the 2019 Lok Sabha election as an “ideological fight between false promises and realistic commitments”, Rahul asked the gathering for a show of hands on how many of them had to stand in queues to withdraw money from banks. “This chowkidar has been exposed, the people know the truth about him… Now he is even scared of debating with me on the issues as he has no answers,” he said.