In a stirring criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came down heavily on BJP and its government at the Centre. Launching Congress party’s election campaign for the Bihar assembly polls from historic Champaran district, Rahul Gandhi took a sharp swipe at the economic policies of Narendra Modi-led Central government, once again dubbing them ‘anti-poor’.
Once again, it was Rahul Gandhi’s oft-repeated ‘Suit-Boot ki Sarkaar’ jibe at Prime Minister Modi that dominated his address at Hazari Maidan in West Champaran’s Ramnagar town.
“Modiji keeps telling people that he used to sell tea… But the other day I saw his picture and he was surrounded by people wearing suits… Look at Modi Ji now, he wears suit worth Rs 15 lakh,” Rahul Gandhi said attacking the Prime Minister.
“Modiji now meets only his ‘Suit-Boot’ clad friends… He has no time for the poor, for the labourer who toil hard, for the weaker section of the society… Has he ever come to see you?” the Congress vice president said in a reference to economic and the social policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Though, former CM and Bihar strongman Lalu Prasad and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar gave rally a miss, former’s son Tejaswi Yadav and senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi shared the stage with Rahul Gandhi.
Taking on the ruling BJP and PM Modi, in particular, over the promises made during the campaigning of 2014 general elections, Rahul added, “He (PM Modi) says that I and my friends wearing suit-boot will change India. Give two crore new jobs every year, deposit Rs 15 lakh in everyone’s account by getting back black money stashed abroad. Tell me whether any of these things happened?”
Talking about the Land Acquisition bill, Mr. Gandhi claimed victory citing the Centre’s recent decision to not re-issue the controversial Ordinance on the bill.
The issue saw a massive tussle between the Opposition, especially the Congress party, and the BJP-led Centre after the latter had brought an amended bill in the form of an Ordinance. The Ordinance was opposed by the Congress party inside and outside the Parliament. In the midst of the Budget session earlier this year, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had even led a march of collective opposition to protest against the Ordinance on Land Acquisition.
Upping his ante further against the BJP, he attacked Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi issue and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the infamous Vypam scam. Protest on the both these issues had earlier led to the washout of the Parliament’s Monsoon session.
Talking about the significance of the venue, Mr. Gandhi said it was from Champaran where Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress party began its fight against the British rule.
In his parting shot, he even accused the RSS and BJP of playing the communal card during the polls, saying, “Whenever RSS-BJP see elections nearing, they start putting one community against the other. They had done so in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during last Lok Sabha polls. They will do it again… Do not to fall for it”.
The run-up to this crucial and highly watched assembly polls has seen incumbent Nitish Kumar led-JD(U) stitching an alliance with RJD and Congress to stall the prospects of the main challenger BJP and its NDA. Bihar goes to poll on October 12 and results will be announced on November 8.