Narendra Modi govt only catering to the rich: Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will campaign in Haryana on Thursday for the October 15 Assembly Elections, the party said.

Firozpur Jhirka/Rewari: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his government is catering only to rich businessmen and questioned his handling of China and Pakistan.

He accused Modi of not being able to rein in price rise or bring back black money as promised by him.

Gandhi said Modi was trying to "weaken" UPA's pet pro-poor scheme MGNREGA and "making medicinces expensive to beneift some US companies".

"He (Modi) used to say if I become the Prime Minister, I will teach a lesson to China and Pakistan but what happened.

"After he became the PM, Chinese President Xi Jinping came here and it was for the first time when the President of a country visited India, his Army also entered our territory. This happened when the President of that country was enjoying a swing ride with Modi," Gandhi said at rallies for the October 15 Haryana Assembly polls.

On the shelling by Pakistan, he said, "Our people are being killed. Now after six days they say everything will be fine. But what about those who have been killed, injured....?"

Addressing gatherings largerly of farmers, he asked them whether prices have come down. "Modi had said he will bring down prices within 100 days. Did it happen?"

Accusing the Modi government of working for "big businessmen," Gandhi alleged Modi lifted control on drug prices at the behest of some US companies which has led to cancer medicines costing over Rs 1 lakh instead of Rs 8000 earlier.

"Modiji went to the US. A number of big industrialists came to him before the visit....Now medicines will be expensive....Because he had to make the US companies happy. But he forgot our poor diabetic and cancer patients here," he said.

Congress has made a big issue of the central government's decision, ahead of Modi's visit to the US, to withdraw powers of the drug pricing authority to cap prices of non-essential drugs, maintaining that this has led to manifold increase in prices of medicines, including life-saving ones.

Seeking to project a contrast in NDA and UPA's vision for the poor, Gandhi said, "The government wants that India progresses but only the rich benefit. There is no place in their India for the poor and the farmers while we want all of you, the poor, the weak, the farmers to be empowered."

The Congress leader alleged that when Om Prakash Chautala-led government was in power in alliance with BJP in the state, "land of farmers was snatched and industrialists were subject to extortion".

"We fought for the rights of the farmers and the weaker sections in Bhatta Parsaul, in Niyamgiri and promised that the land of farmers won't be allowed to be snatched. They were opposing but we remained firm and passed the land acquisition bill. Before that the land bill was passed in Haryana. Farmers were given four times more compensation."

Modi's charge that Congress did nothing in the last 60 years is an insult to the farmers and labourers who have toiled hard all these years to help the country progress, Gandhi said, adding, "They gave the slogan of 'Acche Din' and you saw what happened."

On achievements of Congress-ruled Haryana as compared to that of BJP-SAD-ruled Punjab, he said that while leaders of BJP in Haryana come and ask people to vote for them, there is a need to see what they have done in Punjab.

"Haryana has only 2 per cent youth population but it brings 30 per cent of the medals in sports. Youth of this state is engaged in education. What are they doing in Punjab?

"Many of the young people in Punjab take to drugs. Their government is silent while an entire generation is getting destroyed. There is neither sports nor education there," he said.

Gandhi also coined a new slogan for Haryana, "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Pahalwan", in a reference to a number of world class wrestlers the state has produced of late.

The Congress Vice President also read out promises made in the party's election manifesto for the state including loans to farmers for construction of two lakh houses and waiver of interest for those, who paid the premiums regularly.

"We did not leave anybody. We want to take everybody along. We do not want to pit one against the other. We want an India in which the poor, the rich all stay together and all work in an atmosphere of brotherhood. We have done it in Haryana. We will do it," Gandhi said.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed and Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar also addressed the rallies.  

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