Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the whole country was making fun of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Narendra Modi used to make fun of [former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh],” Gandhi said at a rally in Faridkot Lok Sabha constituency in Punjab. “Today, he is not making fun of Singh. The country is now laughing at Modi.”
The Congress president said farmers, the youth, women and small business owners in the state and the rest of the country have not received the Rs 15 lakh the prime minister promised to every person in 2014. However, businessmen such as Anil Ambani and Nirav Modi received this money, he added.
Gandhi claimed that he had impressed upon economists in the Congress the need to deposit money into poor people’s bank accounts. “After four months they returned to my office, and wrote down a number on a piece of paper: Rs 72,000,” he said. “I was astonished. They said there was no mistake. They said we can do it every year.” The Congress president said the economists assured him that it was possible to deposit this money in the bank accounts of the poorest 25 crore people for five years.
Gandhi said people would begin to buy goods as soon as the money gets deposited in their bank accounts. This, he added, would create demand in the market, and increase production in factories. All of this will boost employment. “The NYAY scheme will revive the economic system of the country, which Modi has destroyed,” the Congress president claimed.
The Congress president said the money for the scheme would come from the pockets of fugitive businessmen such as Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. Gandhi said the Congress had lived up to its promise of waiving farmer loans in the states in which it came to power last year. After the Congress comes to power, no farmer will be jailed for failing to repay loans, he added.
Gandhi said the Congress would fill up 22 lakh vacancies in government jobs within a year of forming government at the centre. A Congress government will also ensure that people do not require permission to establish a business.
The Congress president lashed out at Modi for claiming that the “Indian elephant” was “sleeping” before he came to power. Gandhi accused the prime minister of insulting the people of Punjab and the rest of the country. “Where were you during the Green Revolution?” he asked. “The farmers of Punjab gave their sweat and blood for this. You did not listen to the voice of Punjab. You made fun of Manmohan Singh. If you had listened to them, you would not have gone for demonetisation, or the Gabbar Singh Tax [Goods and Services Tax].”
Gandhi said he had challenged Modi to a debate on the Rafale deal. “But after speaking for 15 minutes he will not be able to show his face to the country,” he claimed. “He is scared.”
The seventh and last phase of voting in the Lok Sabha elections will be held on May 19. Results for all the phases will be declared four days later.