Just ahead of the upcoming winter session of the Parliament, Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi lent a strong criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign trips. Interacting with farmers in Western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur area, the deputy leader of the principal opposition party remarked that while the PM was busy flying abroad, Congress stood with farmers and labourers.
Gandhi also launched a ‘padayatra’ or footmarch to highlight the plight of sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The sugarcane farmers in the state are in the midst of a major issue of payment arrears, seeking a higher price for their produce.
“When Narendra Modi is flying to England, Rahul Gandhi is standing here amongst you in your fields. I want to tell you that we are with you. Congress is standing with you and will die and keep standing with you,” he said, addressing the farmers ahead of starting his ‘padayatra’.
Rahul Gandhi also took a dig at PM Modi’s ‘achche din’ slogan, an oft repeated phrase which the latter had used during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaigning.
“When Lok Sabha elections were held a lot of people supported Narendra Modi. He claimed that he will change India. He does not even remember his own slogan of ‘achche din ayenge’. When we talk of ‘achche din’ people laugh across the country. Where are those good days?” Rahul Gandhi said besides adding that Congress party’s good days will come once farmers, labourers and the poor felt good.
“In India, ‘achche din’ will only come when farmers, labourers, poor, dalits, tribals will have good days. Only then will good days come for Congress,” he said.
During his ‘kisaan padyatra’, the Congress party Vice President interacted with the farmers and their family members in Hardakhedi, Sikrikalan and Patni villages of Saharnpur district, where he once again repeated his ‘suit-boot ki sarkaar’ jibe at the BJP-led NDA government.
“We don’t want such an India where the poor, farmers and oppressed are unhappy. We don’t want a suit-buit government. We want that India should be of the poor, labourers and small people,” said Rahul Gandhi, who was also seen standing next to the controversial Congress MLA Imran Masood, who was jailed in March last year for his hate speech against PM Modi.
Shifting his focus on the incumbent Uttar Pradesh government, Mr. Gandhi asked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to come forward and keep up to his promise of bringing a change in the state by resolving the farmers’ issue of their pending payments of sugarcane and restarting the sugar mills.
“Akhilesh Yadavji, you claimed to belong to the new generation and promised to change Uttar Pradesh. You still have one-and-a-half years time to change Uttar Pradesh. Go amidst farmers and resolve the sugarcane issue, give money to farmers, start the shut sugar mills and provide jobs to youth,” he said.
Attacking the Central government further, Rahul Gandhi claimed that farmers were “not” welcome in the banks and that it “laid” a red carpet for the rich. Referring to the previous Congress-led UPA government, he went on with claims that Congress-led UPA had waived off Rs 70,000 of farmers’ loans and had launched the world’s biggest job scheme in MNREGA that provided guaranteed jobs to the poor and gave crores of money in the hands of the poor.
(With inputs from the PTI)