Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday continued to question the political allegiance of the Janata Dal (Secular), asking its leaders to clarify if they had forged a tacit understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka, The Hindu reported. Gandhi called the party the “Janata Dal Sangh Parivar” on Saturday.
“On one side, there is an ideology [of the Congress], which is for uniting the society,” the Congress leader said at an election rally in Mysuru, the hometown of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “On the other, there is an ideology [of the BJP] that divides the people. The JD (S) has no ideology.”
Seven former MLAs of the Janata Dal (Secular) joined the Congress at the rally, dealing a blow to party chief HD Deve Gowda, PTI reported. The legislators, who cross-voted for the Congress’ candidates in the March 23 Rajya Sabha elections, resigned from the Assembly on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gandhi carried on with his criticism of the Narendra Modi government’s track record on the economy, the Hindustan Times reported. In a scathing remark, the Congress president said that the three biggest exports on the prime minister’s watch were billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, former Indian Premier League Chairperson Lalit Modi, and liquor baron Vijay Mallya. “Modi has destroyed the banking system,” Gandhi said. “This is just the beginning, now you will see how many will leave this country. And Modi knows all of them.”
Gandhi alleged that only the business of BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah has flourished since the party came to power at the Centre. “When the PM talks of corruption, he does not look at his own cabinet, his ministers and chief ministers.”
The prime minister had promised two crore jobs a year after coming to power, Gandhi claimed. “But the country is seeing the highest unemployment over the past eight years,” he pointed out.
The BJP responded to Gandhi’s speech, accusing him of running away every time he faces a setback. “Mahatma Gandhi had said the Congress should be dissolved after Independence, it looks like Rahul Gandhi is working hard to achieve this,” former state law minister S Suresh Kumar said.