NEW DELHI, Sept 4: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP of weakening the country by spreading fear and hatred which he said will benefit India’s enemies, as the party tried to corner the government over the price rise issue with a massive rally here.
Launching an all-out attack on the government at the ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’ rally at Ramlila Maidan here, he alleged since the BJP government has come there is pressure on institutions such as media, judiciary, Election Commission, and the government is undermining them.
He alleged Modi was working 24 hours to benefitting two big industrialists.
Under PM Modi, he said, two Indias are being created, one which belongs to the poor where no dream could be accomplished, and the other of a few big businessmen where every dream can be achieved.
He said while PM Modi wants to benefit big businessmen by dividing the country, the Congress ideology stands for providing equal benefits to all, especially the poor and the downtrodden.
Gandhi said the government did not allow the Opposition to speak in Parliament, and the “only way for us is to talk directly to people and tell the truth of the country to people and hear them out”.
This is precisely why the Congress party is starting the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ this week, he said, adding this will help talk directly to people and discuss their issues.
He said the Congress lifted 27 crore people out of poverty but in the last eight years PM Modi has “pushed 23 crore” people back into poverty. “The work we did in 10 years destroyed it in eight years.”
“Narendra Modi is taking India backwards. Narendra Modi ji is spreading hatred, and fear,” he said. “This will benefit the country’s enemies, it will benefit China, it will benefit Pakistan but not India. The more hatred, anger and fear spread in India, the more it will be weakened.”
Gandhi accuses Modi of “finishing India’s economic power, with unemployment touching a 40-year high”.
“I want to ask ‘do price rise, unemployment, hate strengthen the country’. They weaken the country and Narendra Modi and the BJP are working to weaken the country. The Congress unites the country, we remove hatred, fear. When hatred and fear is removed, the country progresses, we have shown this for so many years,” the former Congress chief said.
He accused the Modi dispensation of being unable to provide employment and benefit only two big industrialists. “The PM and the two industrialists were working for mutual benefit 24X7.”
In a tweet later, Gandhi said, “Only the Congress ideology can bring the country on the path of progress. We will go straight to the people and tell them the truth and understand whatever is in their heart. Now there will be #BharatJodoYatra,”
He began his speech at the rally talking about the “hate and fear” in the country.
“Hate is a form of fear,” he told the well-attended event. “When we say hate is increasing in the country, to say in a different way, fear is increasing in the country — fear of the future, fear of inflation, fear of unemployment and because of this hatred is increasing. Due to hate, the country is divided and is weakened.
“BJP and RSS leaders divide country and deliberately spread fear,” he alleged. “The question is whom do they do it for and why. Who is benefitted from this fear and hate. Tell me what benefits the poor, labourers and small traders have got from the Modi government? Two industrialists have benefitted from this fear and hate,” Gandhi said.
He said people have been facing hardships due to price rise and unemployment, but when the Opposition tries to raise their voice in parliament, the Modi government does not allow it to do so.
The country’s situation is such that even if it wants, it cannot give jobs to its youth, he said.
Anyone be it activists, Opposition leaders or Modi’s critics is attacked when they criticise this government. “I was made to sit for 55 hrs at ED office but want to tell the PM, I am not not scared of your ED (Enforcement Directorate even if you make me sit for 500 hours.”
Gandhi also alleged the three ‘black farm laws’ were brought in not to help farmers, but to benefit a few industrialists.
Several other Congress leaders also addressed the rally, with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge saying the party made all efforts to hold a debate on price rise in the Parliament and the government kept avoiding it.
He said the government did agree for a debate after they fought from “Parliament to streets under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership”, but got only five hours to discuss it, of which the Congress was allocated just 28 minutes.
“GST has been increased on daily use items such as curd. Unemployment and prices are rising on one hand and on the other hand the rupee’s value is going down vis-a-vis the dollar.
“I want to ask Modi ji what are you doing as unemployment, prices are rising and China is also attacking us. But he does not respond to these issues,” Kharge said.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, “The people in the BJP are fascists, they only wear the mask of democracy.” (PTI)