Repeating his ‘suit-boot’ jibe at Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged there is no place for the poor in the prime minister’s heart, adding, “If you are not in suit-boot you are not PM’s bhai”.
Gandhi also accused Modi of remaining silent when Dalits, women, minorities, tribals and the poor are attacked in the country and alleged that he and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were trying to save a rape accused BJP MLA in the northern state.
On a campaign trail in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the Congress president again took on Modi over the controversial Rafale jet deal and alleged he had close proximity with businessmen like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Anil Ambani.
He also said that loans of farmers will be waived in 10 days if the Congress comes to power in the state.
Gandhi earlier began his two-day tour of the state by offering prayers at the famous Maa Peetambara Peeth temple complex in Datia in Gwalior division.
Taking a swipe at BJP’s assurance on women’s safety, Gandhi, without naming anyone, said there is a “need to save our daughters from BJP MLAs”.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a BJP MLA from UP, is accused of raping a minor girl in Unnao district.
Noting that the prime minister had said before the 2014 polls he wanted to be a “chowkidar” (guard), Gandhi alleged only 15-20 industrialists of the country benefitted under his government, instead of farmers.
“Prime Minister addresses Mehul Choksi as Mehul bhai (brother), Nirav Modi as Nirav bhai and Anil Ambani as Anil bhai but he never addresses a labourer, a poor and a farmer as bhai or hugs them. There is no place for them in his heart. If you are not in suit-boot you are not PM’s bhai,” Gandhi said addressing a public gathering in Datia.
“The prime minister let jeweller Nirav Modi escape with Rs 35,000 crore, which is equal to the entire budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA),” Gandhi further charged.
He was referring to the PNB banking fraud allegedly involving Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others.
Taking a dig at the ruling party over the issue of women’s safety, Gandhi said, “The BJP gave a good slogan ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ (save and educate daughters).
“But in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were trying to save a rape accused BJP MLA. The PM didn’t speak a word,” he alleged.
“There is a need now to save our daughters from BJP MLAs.”
On the multi-billion dollar Rafale jet deal with France, Gandhi alleged that Modi ensured the offset contract for Anil Ambani, “who owes Rs 45,000 crore to public sector banks”.
“The prime minister does not have the courage to reply why the offset contract for the French aircraft was “snatched” from the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and instead, given to Ambani’s firm,” he said.
“The prime minister could not look me in the eye (during debate in Parliament). The PM gives speeches but no answers...he doesn’t have the courage to reply as to why the contract was snatched from HAL and given to Anil Ambani.”
The Modi government has denied allegations of irregularities in Rafale deal and Ambani, too, has dismissed the Congress’s allegations that he got any undue benefit.
Gandhi accused Modi of “insulting every Indian by mocking the governance of other parties during 70 years, before the BJP-led NDA came to power.
“From the Red Fort, Modi (during his Independence Day speech) said the country was sleeping before he took over as country’s prime minister. This is not an insult to Congress leaders. This is insult to the country’s people.
“This is an insult to farmers, labourers, youths, small traders and people who toiled hard to build this country. This is an insult to your mother and father,” he added.