Rahul Gandhi attacks BJP for killing jobs, dividing people
Attacking the BJP government at the Centre and in Maharashtra over "massive unemployment", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the 'Made in China' policy was killing jobs of Indian youth.
Addressing his maiden poll rally for the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections in the parched and backward Marathwada region, he said that the county is witnessing the maximum employment in the past four decades, but there are no jobs.
"The government is talking about 'Make In India', but only Chinese industries have swamped India, which is killing jobs in this country. The worried youth have no hopes for the future," Gandhi said.
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting last weekend with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Gandhi demanded: "When they were having tea and snacks the other day, did the PM ask him about the aggression in Doklam? No!"
On the economic situation, the Congress leader said that the after the demonetization of November 2016 followed by Goods & Services Tax, the entire country's economy is in shambles, ranging from automobiles to textiles and diamonds to small businesses with over 2,000 factories shutting down in Maharashtra alone, while "thieves" like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have looted and fled the country.
The BJP is dividing the country the way Britishers did. Just as the British used to steal money, BJP is stealing money from the poor and giving it to the rich. You all have to stand together and stop this injustice: Shri @RahulGandhi#RahulLaiBhari pic.twitter.com/AYYmgtLa8s— Congress (@INCIndia) October 13, 2019
Gandhi warned that the current economic status of the nation is "just the beginning" and predicted dire consequences in the coming six-seven months for the economy.
"You go anywhere in the country... People only talk about joblessness, farmland crises, the economy... Where are the promised 'acchhe din'? They have not come. After demonetisation, nobody knows how much black money was recovered, but only the poor and honest masses suffered," he said.
While the farmers continue to suffer, he alleged that in the past few years, the government has cleared off bad loans of around 15 top industrialists to the tune of Rs 5.50 lakh crore in the past few years.
Besides, the government also gave a "Diwali gift" of tax benefits to the rich industrialists worth Rs 1.45 lakh crore last month, but there were no similar concessions for the suffering farmers, and the government could not provide barely Rs 35,000 crore for rural jobs guarantee scheme which is a boon for the rural poor, Gandhi added.
"In the past many years, the country has been built and prospered because of the contributions made by people from all castes and communities. But the present government is resorting to 'divisive tactics' which will not work and drag down the nation's progress," he alleged.
"However, instead of concentrating or debating on these burning issues, the government is busy showing people how the Indian Chandrayaan rocket was sent to the moon, Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, China, Japan, Korea, et al... But, remember, rockets will not help fill up the stomachs of the hungry millions," Gandhi said.
Gandhi called for a return to the Congress "which lives in the soul of Maharashtra", adding the party wouldn't promise the moon, but make down-to-earth promises which it would sincerely fulfil for the peoples' welfare in the state.
Later in the day, addressing a poll rally in Chandivali assembly constituency in Mumbai, Gandhi accused the BJP of "dividing and looting" the country like the British did in pre-Independence period.
He also raised the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank scam which has led to restrictions on withdrawal of money by depositors and raked up the Rafale fighter jet deal.
"The BJP is dividing and looting India like the British did in pre-Independence period. Wherever BJP leaders go these days they cause division and unrest," he said.
Accusing the BJP of "favouring" certain corporate houses, Gandhi said it has become apparent that they also are looting the country.
"There was a time when the US president was saying that Indian economy can compete with the US economy. Nobody says that any longer," Gandhi said.
He also hit back at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her statement that Goods and Services Tax (GST) cannot be altered as it is an Act passed by Parliament.
"If you cannot change the GST in the name of it being an Act, do not forget that MNREGA was also an act which you had changed. The Food Security Act was also altered and you intend to change the Adivasi Act (to free their land-holdings). This is not good," he said.
Gandhi also sought to highlight the "connection" between some directors of the fraud-hit PMC Bank and the ruling BJP.
"If Narendra Modi, Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are not talking about the core issues of Maharashtra, at least they should talk about the PMC bank.
They should talk about the board of directors and their alleged links with BJP leaders," Gandhi said.
Rahul Gandhi said everyone knows that the Rafale deal was controversial and "some kickbacks were given". "No one can run away from this truth, neither Narendra Modi, nor Amit Shah or the BJP. The truth will catch them one day," he said.