Mumbai: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, demanding action against his friends and those who are hoarding black money.
Gandhi today charged that no action was being taken against the "real black marketeers" and the "industrialist friends" of the Prime Minister.
Rahul was addressing a huge crowd of Congress activists after a magistrate's court in Bhiwandi granted bail to him in a criminal defamation case filed against him for claiming, at a 2014 election rally, that the RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi.
The next hearing in the case, filed by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist, Rajesh Kunte, was fixed for January 28, 2017.
Talking outside the Bhiwandi court in adjoining Thane district, Rahul Gandhi said: "Those who are real black marketeers, those who have Rs 10-20000 crore, those who go with Modi in planes, action should be taken against them. No action is being taken.”
"The masses are standing in a queue. Do you see any rich person, a big industrialist standing in queue," Rahul sought to know.
"You are being made to stand in queues. Your money will be given to those select 15-20 industrialists. You all know their names. He (Modi) is running their government," Gandhi told his supporters.
He alleged that in the past couple of years, Modi has waived off over Rs 110,000 crore of loans to a handful of 15 industrialists, with whose help the country is being run.
He predicted that the money collected from the public after demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes, would go back to the pockets of those 15-20 industrialists and others "within one year".
"Now, through demonetisation, he has taken money from each citizens' pockets to give it to these industrialists who are his friends no action has been taken against them we demand action against Modi's friends and those who have hoarded black money."
He asked the large gathering of Congress activists from Mumbai and Thane - "Did you get your Rs 4,000? Have you got the indelible ink mark?" to which they disapprovingly roared "No".
Gandhi pointed out how each and every citizen in the country was suffering today because of demonetisation and have been put to immense hardships.
"But Modi is laughing and crying laughing and crying," although no industrialists or black money hoarder stands in the long queues to exchange their old notes," he said.
After being granted bail, Gandhi said that he had come "to fight" the ideological war against the RSS. Addressing a rally in the run-up to the 2014 General Elections on the outskirts of Mumbai, Rahul Gandhi had claimed, "The RSS people had killed (Mahatma) Gandhi."
"On one hand it's a fight for independence versus slavery. They want everybody to bend before them as they want to rule. But they cannot enslave this country as the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi are enshrined in our hearts," Gandhi said.
En route to Mumbai after the court hearing, Gandhi stopped at a bank near a toll tax point on the outskirts of Bhiwandi, interacted with people and shared their grievances.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra PCC president Ashok Chavan, in his address to the supporters, said people of Maharashtra are with Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in the struggle against BJP government's anti-people policies.
In a stinging attack on Modi on the demonetisation issue, Rahul had last night said the prime minister was "laughing" while people were dying in queues outside banks and ATMs to withdraw money and the move will turn out to be a "big scam".
The government did not seem to be going after the "big players" in black money like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi, he had said.
He also claimed that BJP members were alerted beforehand about the demonetisation.
(With Agency inputs)