Mumbai: Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned his silence on problems being faced by the poor and claimed the BJP government's credibility has "eroded very quickly".
"It is very well to give speeches but Modi is silent on problems faced by the poor," Rahul said, addressing a rally of party workers in suburban Malad in North Mumbai.
Rahul also asked party men to shun internal differences and work unitedly to ensure that Congress comes back to power.
He used the Marathi greeting on Makar Sankranti "Til gul ghya, god god bola" (eat sweets, speak cordially) to appeal to the Congress leaders to put an end to factionalism.
"It takes two-three-four years for the credibility of a government to decline but the BJP government's credibility has eroded very quickly," Rahul said.
There are talks of "start-ups and connect India". These talks are nice but there are poor people, domestic workers.
India is theirs also. The government has forgotten them, he said.
Ask anyone about the situation faced by farmers. They will cry while narrating their plight. "You can't leave the poor people, the hawkers behind," he said.
PM Modi spoke of 'Clean India'. Modiji and his ministers took up 'jhadus' and cleaned the roads but in Mumbai, there are tonnes of solid waste. "You won't be able to clean Mumbai by speeches and staging events," he added.
In Uttar Pradesh, many people have demolished toilets built under the Clean India Mission, he said.
The budget of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is in thousands of crore but this government gave just Rs 100 crore to make Mumbai a Smart City, Rahul said.
"When we were in power, we gave a city like Nanded Rs 2,000 crore," he said. Congress will have to get its candidate elected to the post of Mayor in Mumbai if the city is to be developed, he said.
"First we will win Mumbai then the state, and then form government at the Centre," he added.
Rahul said during his padyatra in Mumbai tomorrow "we will put pressure on the government on the issue of electricity tariff for the poor".
Also, Rahul inducted late singer Mohammad Rafi's son Shahed Rafi into Congress.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the government led by BJP should give Rs 5,000 crore for Mumbai development instead of giving a paltry Rs 100 crore per year.
"We have accepted the challenge to dislodge this government," said Chavan.
Congress has performed exceedingly well in the recent civic elections in Maharashtra due to the charisma of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, Chavan said. AICC General Secretary Gurudas Kamat said Congress candidates have recorded a stunning victory in Gujarat local body elections.
"The UPA government did tremendous work but we fell short in propagating it," Kamat said.
AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik said there's a government in the country which deceives people and there's hope in Congress and anger for the ruling party among people.
There's no skill in them to govern but they speak of tall things, Wasnik said. As time passes, the Modi aura will end, he added.
Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said this rally signals change of power in BMC in next year's elections.
People have now come to realise that BJP leaders' claims of improving our lives were hollow, he said.
"We should forget our (internal) differences and wrest power in Mumbai and Maharashtra," he said.
MRCC President Sanjay Nirupam said Indira Gandhi had come to Malad in 1978, while Rajiv Gandhi was in this suburb in 1985. "I am a human being. Reprimand me if I have committed any mistake," Nirupam said, in an apparent reference to the controversial articles about Nehru, Indira and Sonia Gandhi in MRCC mouthpiece 'Congress Darshan'.
"We won't stop till we dislodge the BJP-Shiv Sena regime in Mumbai and Maharashtra," he said.
In 22 years of rule in BMC, the Shiv Sena hasn't been able to provide clean drinking water to people of Mumbai, he said. PM Modi's announcement of giving Rs 100 crore to BMC which has cash reserves of Rs 40,000 crore is a joke, Nirupam said.
There were scams in BMC's road repair, solid waste disposal and tablet distribution, he said.
Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh said the youth everywhere in India were attracted towards Rahul Gandhi.