PAKHANJORE: Launching a tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday that alleged both of them never do anything without seeking permission of their industrialist friends.
Days before the first-phase of voting in Chhattisgarh on 12 November, Gandhi also accused Modi and Singh of making “false” and “unfulfilled” promises.
Speaking at a poll rally at Pt Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium in Pakhanjore town in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said, “Bastar is rich in natural resources, but local people don’t have access to their benefits. The benefits are reaching a few industrialist friends of Modiji and Chhattisgarh chief minister.”
The Congress has been accusing the Modi government of indulging in crony capitalism from time to time, a charge which has been vehemently denied by the saffron party. There was no immediate reaction from the BJP or the state government on Gandhi’s latest allegations.
“In Delhi, Modiji has 10-15 industrialists friends and similarly Chhattisgarh Chief Minister has 10-15 big businessmen friends. Modiji and Singh never do any work until they take permission from these 10-15 friends,” he alleged.
During the Congress-led government at the Centre, it used to take Rs 35,000 crore to run the MNREGA in a year, Gandhi said, while adding that the project changed the lives of several people in the country.
“Modiji waived loans of 10-15 industrialists to the tune of Rs 3.50 lakh crore in the past four-and-a-half years. With this huge money, 10 MNREGAs could have been executed,” he said.
Gandhi also slammed the prime minister over the Rafale deal.
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“Modiji snatched away the contract of Rafale fighter jets from the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and gave it to Anil Ambani,” Gandhi said.
The Congress has earlier also levelled these accusations, which has been rejected by the government as well as by the Ambani-led Reliance Group.
Gandhi said 126 Rafale aircraft were to be purchased as per the UPA deal when the cost of each plane was Rs 526 crore. He alleged the Modi government is purchasing each aircraft at Rs 1,600 crore and a part of the deal was given to Anil Ambani, who formed a company just a few days prior to it.
“Ambani has never made an aircraft and the contract was snatched from HAL and Modiji gifted Rs 30,000 crore to Ambani,” he alleged.
The Congress president also alleged that the prime minister had promised that Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in everyone’s bank account, while he had also promised to provide employment to two crore people and waive farm loans.
“But none of these promises were fulfilled,” he said.
Gandhi further said jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and tainted cricket administrator Lalit Modi fled India with the country’s money worth thousands of crores.
“Modiji used to speak against corruption in his every speech, but now he can’t. He can’t speak a single word on corruption because the chowkidar allowed the theft of Rs 30,000 crore,” he said.
He also targeted Raman Singh over the alleged chit funds scam in the state, the alleged civil supplies scam and over his son Abhishek Singh allegedly holding offshore assets.
Singh has denied these charges earlier.
“Chit fund companies committed scam to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore in the state. People lost their hard-earned money. Sixty people lost their lives in this connection, but no action was taken so far by the Raman Singh government, ” Gandhi said.
“Who had opened these companies? They were friends of Raman Singh,” Gandhi alleged.
Even Pakistan’s Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) was jailed in connection with the Panama scandal, but no action has been taken against Raman Singh’s son, Abhishek Singh, who was named in Panama Papers scandal, he said.
On the issue of farmers in Chhattisgarh, Rahul said his party would resolve all their problems after coming to power in the state.
“If we form the government in Chhattisgarh, we will waive the loans of farmers within ten days,” he said.
He said that his party will stand by the farmers through thick and thin.
“Food processing units will be developed for farmers in each and every district. The unit will also provide employment to rural youths,” he added.
“After the Congress government comes to power, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will be developed as agriculture centres of the country like Punjab and Haryana,” he said.
Remembering his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he said, “Indira Gandhiji was connected to the tribals and Bengali people settled in Bastar.”
“She taught me many things. One of them was that politics should be done for weaker and poor sections of the society. I will stand by those who are weak and being suppressed. I will fight for their rights,” he said.
Gandhi, during his rally in Rajnandgaon, criticised the Centre’s decision to ban notes and for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and said that no other prime minister has damaged the country’s economy as much as Modi did.