Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took a swipe at the ruling BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) accusing them of spreading hatred and fear in the country.
Addressing a massive Mehangai Pe Halla Bol rally at Ramlila Maidan here, Rahul Gandhi, who returned from abroad on Sunday morning, pointed out, “You people can see the condition of the country, and what is happening isn’t hidden from you.”
Lambasting the BJP, the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, said, “Since the BJP came to power, hatred and aggression have increased. You can feel that anger and hatred growing.”
He said, “Hatred is a form of fear. Those who fear, have hatred and those who don’t fear do not have hatred.” He further said that when we say that in India, hatred is growing, it means fear is increasing, which is fear of the future, inflation, and unemployment and this is why antagonism is increasing.
“Due to hatred, the country gets divided, people get divided. The BJP and the RSS people divide people and they intentionally create fear and unleash hatred,” he said.
“(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is taking India backwards; he is creating fear and hatred. This cannot help India but it will help our enemies, China and Pakistan,” he said, adding, “The more hatred and fear is spread, India will become weak. And Modi has worked to make India weak.”
He added, “What has Modi and the BJP given to the people and the poor? All benefits and profits are being given to two industrialists. We can see — whether it is the roads, ports or airports — have been given to these two people.”
Hitting out at the government for its demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) decisions, he said, “Modi did demonetisation; it did not benefit the poor. The PM said it was a fight against black money and then, a few months later, loans of industrialists were waived off.” The government didn’t waive off the farm loans and brought the black farm laws, he added.
Rahul Gandhi said that the farmers were opposing the farm laws because it was to favour two industrialists and it was why they came out on the streets. “When Modi realized the power of farmers, he withdrew the farm laws,” he pointed out.
“A similar thing happened with GST. Congress wanted to bring a different GST, while the BJP brought a GST which has hurt the businessmen, farmers, labourers and all,” the Congress leader said.
Raising the issue of unemployment, the former Congress chief said that today the condition of the country is such that even if it wants to give jobs to youths, it cannot do so.
“The job is given by farmers and MSMEs and their backbone has been broken by Modi,” he said, adding that those who could give jobs to the country’s people are unable to produce jobs. “Unemployment will increase further and on the other hand, inflation will hit people,” he warned.
Raising the issue of price rise that has “impacted the people of the country”, he said that the LPG price is now above Rs 1,000, mustard oil over Rs 200 per kg; milk, petrol, diesel, and wheat flour prices have also gone up.
Targeting the PM, Rahul Gandhi said, “Modi questioned what Congress did in 70 years. The Congress never brought such inflation in the last 70 years.” He also accused the government of not allowing the Opposition to raise the issues of public importance and interest in Parliament. He said, “When the Opposition wants to raise the issues in Parliament then we are not allowed to speak. When we try to bring up the China issue, inflation or joblessness, we are unable to do so in Parliament.”
He alleged that without the support of the industrialists and the media, Modi cannot be a Prime Minister. He also said that the institutions of India, including the judiciary and the Election Commission, are under pressure.
“We are holding a 3,500-km padayatra to tell people the truth. “Those who want to work against Modi — whether an activist or a businessman or a political party — are muzzled and get questioned by agencies,” he said, while alleging the misuse of Central agencies.
Talking about his questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for five days for over 54 hours in the National Herald case, Rahul Gandhi said, “I was questioned for 55 hours by the ED. I want to tell Modi clearly that ‘I don’t fear your ED’, whether you question me for 100 hours or 200 hours.”
He also appealed to the people of the country to work together to save the Constitution of India. “If we don’t stand up today then this country cannot be saved. This country does not belong to only two industrialists.”
He also said that during the 10 years of the UPA government at the Centre, the Congress-led government brought 27 crore people out of poverty, while in the last eight years, the Modi government has pushed 23 crore people into poverty.
“India is witnessing the highest unemployment in the last 45 years. I want to ask Modi: Is the country strengthened by poverty, price rise, unemployment, fear and hatred? Congress unites the country by removing hatred and we have done this for years,” he added.
During the rally, many party workers also flashed placards demanding Rahul Gandhi to be the party chief once again.