Rahul Gandhi


Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (11) alleged that the BJP, RSS and prime minister Narendra Modi had hatred towards his family, but he does not harbour the same feelings for the India’s prime minister.

He said that although Modi repeatedly attacked him, his father Rajiv Gandhi, grandmother Indira Gandhi and great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, he had given him a hug.

The Congress chief’s remarks came a week after Modi said in a rally that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi “was termed ‘Mr Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari No 1’ (corrupt number 1)”.

Modi had also alleged that Rajiv Gandhi and his family had used the Navy’s INS Viraat as a “personal taxi” for 10 days while they were vacationing on an island in Lakshadweep in the late 1980s.

“The BJP, RSS and prime minister Narendra Modi have hatred for my family and our job is to remove it. Narendra Modi attacks me. He speaks with hatred about my father, my grandmother and my great grandfather. He speaks in anger, but I go and give him a ‘jhappi’ (hug),” the Congress chief said.

“You are the prime minister… you must remove hatred and work with love. This will benefit you. I don’t hate Narendra Modi, he can give me as much hatred as he can. He can speak about my family whatever he wants,” he said.

“Hatred cannot be conquered with hatred in return. Only love can defeat Narendra Modi and not hatred,” he added.

The Congress chief was addressing an election rally in Shujalpur for party candidate and folk singer Prahlad Tipaniya, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Dewas seat.

Speaking about his party’s proposed NYAY minimum income guarantee scheme, Gandhi said, “Amazingly, the idea of this scheme (NYAY) came from Narendra Modi. He did not implement it, spoken lie about giving Rs 15 lakh.”

“But we took this idea…going to give Rs 3.60 lakh (to each poor family) in five years (under NYAY),” he said.

He added that the scheme would provide purchasing power to people, which would revive the country’s economy.

He said demonetisation and poor implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which he termed as the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, has adversely impacted the purchasing power of people.

“When I raised questions about the Rafale scam in Parliament, Modi talked about Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi but did not reply to my questions,” he said.

“Narendra Modi ji, I had asked about Rafale and not about my family,” he said while accusing the prime minister of carrying out parallel negotiations with France in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

He also said that the Congress would provide 22 lakh government jobs in addition to 10 lakh jobs in panchayats to the people after coming to power.

Gandhi said the agriculture loans of farmers in Madhya Pradesh, including the kin of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, have been waived by the Congress government in the state.

Addressing another rally in favour of Dinesh Girewal, the Congress candidate from Dhar Lok Sabha seat at Amjhera, Congress chief termed the prime minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme as a scam.

Narendra Modi has given Rs 10,000 crore to his friends by snatching from farmers under Fasal Bima Yojana, which is Fasal Ghotala Yojana, he said.

Gandhi also said if his party comes to power, it would change the GST and abolish the 28 per cent GST slab.

Later, speaking at a rally in Khargone Lok Sabha seat, Gandhi took a swipe at Modi’s reported punishing work schedule and dared him to debate on it, claiming the latter would lose face in fifteen minutes.

He added that Modi’s “balloon” would burst when the Lok Sabha results are declared on May 23.

“Let him (Modi) organise a debate at any place — in Parliament or Gujarat. I can guarantee to the youths of the country that after 15 minutes of debate, he won’t be able to show his face to them,” said Gandhi, reacting to statements of BJP leaders that the prime minister works up to 21 hours a day.

“When the world sleeps, Modi is awake. In the night he sends money to (businessman) Anil Ambani,” he claimed.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel also addressed these gatherings.

Polling in Khargone, Dhar and Dewas parliamentary seats is scheduled on May 19.