Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying while he failed to deliver on his much tom-tommed promise of bringing black money back he wore a “suit worth Rs 10 lakh” during US President Barack Obama’s visit here.
Addressing an election rally, he also accused the Modi government of succumbing to US pressure in resolving the nuclear deal logjam and claimed that in case of any accident in a nuclear plant, US companies will not have to pay compensation.
“He (Modi) had said I will bring back crores of black money, will deposit 15 lakh in every account. I want to ask you, did you get 15 lakh? You didn’t get anything but Modi wore a suit worth Rs 10 lakh during Obama’s visit,” he said.
The pinstripe bandhgala suit Modi wore on Sunday during his talks with Obama in Hyderabad House had his name embroidered all over it, triggering a debate in the social media.
On the nuclear deal, Gandhi said, “If there is any problem in a nuclear plant, the American company won’t have to pay and it will be the Indian government which will pay the compensation.”
The Congress Vice President also took a dig at Modi on his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan saying the prime minister has not been able to address problems like inflation and employment.
“When you asked for employment and demanded that inflation be brought down, he gave you a broom saying clean India and went to US and Australia.”
Asking people to support Congress in the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls, Gandhi wondered what changes BJP will bring to Delhi as the party was already running the city as it was under President’s Rule.
“BJP says bring our government in Delhi. But they are in power here, they are already running Delhi,” he said.
In a veiled attack on Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, he said the anti-graft movement led by Anna Hazare had people who are now in both AAP and BJP who “used to meet in Lodhi park in the morning and do the planning (to attack Congress)”.
“They had made big promises, Jan Lokpal. They said if Jan Lokpal comes, corruption will be wiped out. Jan Lokpal came, did corruption stop? They spoke about power and water, they said they will reduce power and water tariff. But did they,” Gandhi asked.
He also accused the BJP government of not passing on the benefit of significant drop in oil prices in the international market to the people.
“During our times, international price of crude oil was USD 140 per barrel. Today it is USD 40-45 per barrel. The benefit has not been passed on to the people,” he said.
Gandhi alleged that BJP “sparks” riots whenever elections are due.
“BJP sparks riots whenever there are elections. You see Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir even in Delhi. But I would like to remind you that when there were riots in Trilokpuri, Congress was there and not Kejriwal,” he said.
Highlighting Right to Information Act, Right to Food law and MNREGA as major achievements of the UPA government, Gandhi said the BJP government has not done anything concrete in the past eight months.
“You have your dreams, youth have dreams of a better future, good jobs but BJP wants that dreams of only three to four industrialists are to be fulfilled,” he said.
“This is what he (Modi) has done. He gave you broom and India is not moving forward. Nobody is getting opportunities. Three-four industrialists are getting everything,” he said, adding “He went to Australia, an industrialist got loan. Russian president came another corporate got benefited,” he said.
Asserting that Congress wants the poor to be part of development dream of Delhi, he said AAP came into being to weaken Congress.
“Our rivals know that there is only one way to keep poor out, weaken Congress. AAP has come up to weaken Congress by division of its votes. Anybody who is leaving AAP is joining BJP,” he said.
“Earlier Kejriwal used to do a stir on everything, everyday. He did a protest on corruption. He did another on rape.
“Now 30 per cent rapes have increased in BJP regime and there is nothing. He has not launched any protest against BJP. Because he wants to weaken Congress. But I would like to tell you that he won’t succeed as the poor are with us.”
The Congress vice president said that the main issue in Delhi is poor people, and the party will give them space.
Underlining his party’s agenda for the Assembly elections, he said Congress will provide right to shelter on the lines of Right to Food and regularisation of contractual workers.
“We will give right to shelter to the poor. We will give them roof and we will regularise temporary contractual workers in departments like DTC, sanitation etc. The first thing our CM will do after coming to power will be these two things,” he said during his 15-minute speech.
On supporting AAP during its 49-day regime, he said that the party did so because the people of Delhi supported them.
“But when they realised that they cannot deliver on their poll promises, they ran away. Congress won’t run away. We will win the elections and show how government is run,” he added.
He also exhorted Congress workers to go among the voters with this message and garner support for the party.
Gandhi was addressing an election rally in Shastri Park area in Seelampur, east Delhi.
Several senior leaders including Congress campaign committee chief Ajay Maken, DPCC chief Arvinder Singh, former DPCC chief J P Aggarwal, former Congress MP Jagdish Tytler, former CLP leader Haroon Yusuf and All India Women’s Congress president Shobha Oza also attended the rally.