After Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter on Saturday to launch the “Main Bhi Chowkidar (I am watchman too)” campaign, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who was addressing a rally in Dehradun on Saturday, reiterated the “Chowkidar Chor Hai (Watchman is a thief)” jibe for Modi and laid out the controversial Rafale fighter jets deal and the alleged support for industrialists including Anil Ambani and Vijay Mallya as reasons for calling Modi a thief.
“Earlier the slogan used to be Acche Din Aaenge (good days will come). Now, listen to the new slogan: Chowkidar,” Gandhi said, and the audience replied: “Chor hai.” “In four years how did the slogan change from acche din aaenge to chowkidar chor hai? Because it is the truth. Wherever he (Modi) goes he makes false promises,” he said.
Indirectly taking a jibe at the prime minister, Gandhi spoke about the fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi, and said, “I can’t understand that Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, how come all chor (thieves) have the Modi surname.”
Speaking on the Rafale deal, he said, “Someone tell me what work Anil Ambani has done to be qualified to get the contract for Rafale fighter jets? During the UPA government, it was decided that one Rafale aircraft would be purchased for Rs 526 crore. After Narendra Modi became prime minister, he visited France for the Rafale contract and Anil Ambani accompanied him. And the cost of one Rafale fighter jet was raised to Rs 1,600 crore.”
He said that the BJP wants to create “two Indias: One where people fly in private jets and grab the land of the poor, and the other, Hindustan of yours and mine, of farmers and the poor, where even if people die, they (the BJP) don’t bother”.
He announced that if voted to power, the Congress will give a minimum guaranteed income to the poor of the country. “Money will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the poor, every month. It’s a historic decision,” he said.
Addressing the people who run small and medium businesses in Uttarakhand, Gandhi said that the Congress “will come to power” in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and will ease out the current GST norms.
“Accept my apologies in place of Modi ji,” he said speaking on the difficulties being faced by businesspersons due to GST imposition.
Speaking on the recent terror attack in Kashmir where 40 CRPF personnel were killed, he said, “I cancelled all programmes when the Pulwama attack happened. But, Modi ji was shooting for a documentary in the Corbett Tiger Reserve when the attack happened. You can see his videos over the internet where he’s smiling in different poses. And then he talks of nationalism.”
After the rally, Gandhi visited the family of Mohan Lal, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) in CRPF, who was killed in the Kashmir terror attack on February 14. He also visited the families of Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal who was also killed in February in an encounter with the militants in Kashmir’s Pulwama, and Major Chitresh Bisht who was killed last month while defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri.