Claiming that 2,000 factories had closed down in Maharashtra owing to the economic slowdown in the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the “abysmal” condition of the economy was missing from the BJP’s electoral discourse.
Referring to GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ and blaming the Narendra Modi government for the economic slowdown and rising unemployment, he said, “He (Modi) will talk about chand (moon), go to Corbett national park, but he will not talk about PMC Bank or impact of ‘notebandi’. Who heads the PMC Bank, will he answer?”
Speaking at Dharavi, a Congress stronghold, Rahul said unemployment in the country was at a 40-year high. “You have seen nothing yet. If the economy and unemployment continue to remain like this, India will burn.”
“Rafale mein chori ki. Poora desh jaanta hai ke Narendra Modi ne apne mitra ko madat karne mein Rafale mein chori karvayi (They committed theft in the Rafale deal The whole country knows that Narendra Modi allowed theft to help his friend). Now Rajnath Singh goes to France. Have you seen a defence minister go to France? There is guilt. Jaante hain ki isne chori ki hai. Isliye dikhana pad raha hai (They know they have committed theft, so they have to put up a show),” he said.
Rahul also addressed a rally in Chandivali on Sunday ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls.
He said that Modi has maintained silence on Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi. “We don’t make false promises, we don’t do ulti-seedhi baat. The Congress knows how to work together with everyone and run the country,” he said.
“He (Modi) waived Rs 1.25 lakh of corporate tax for the rich, but what about small store owners?,” Rahul asked. “Modiji speaks about Make in India and then goes to have tea with the Chinese president in China,” he added.
“He shut down industries and stores. In Pune, look at the automobile industry, Maruti factory was forced to shut down. In Dharavi, leather industry has been destroyed. Unemployment is at its peak, and all Modiji talks about is chand,” he said. “BJP is looting money from the poor and giving it to the rich…If you are Ambani, Adani you can take whatever you want, you can take any public sector undertaking, you can take Mumbai’s local train, you can take a railway station, but if you are a farmer, a small trader you won’t get a rupee,” he said.
“Dharavi is a symbol of India’s innovation and knowledge. But Narendra Modi does not respect it, he has no faith in it. But it is Dharavi that can make India. It is Dharavi and no one else that can compete with China,” he said.
He urged voters to choose Congress to improve the economic situation, reminding them of policies former PM Manmohan Singh introduced.
Also present in the rally, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge criticised the BJP government over the trees chopped in Aarey Colony for building a Metro car shed. “Sena and BJP fight and then come together for elections. We must be aware of their tactics.”