Launching the Congress campaign for the Bihar Assembly polls, Rahul said,”Modi says that he and his friends wearing suit-boot will change India. Give two crore new jobs every year, provide 100 per cent enhanced minimum support price to farmers for their produce and would deposit Rs 15 lakh in everyone’s account by getting back black money stashed abroad.
“Tell me whether any of these things happened?,” Rahul asked amid cries of ‘No, no” from the audience.
He went on to add, “Feku thaa, Hai” (He was a braggart and he remains so).
Addressing a conference here in Bihar’s West Champaran district to mark the 125th Birth Anniversary of dalit icon B R Ambedkar, Rahul tried to paint Modi and BJP as pro rich.
“A suit-boot barrister Mahatama Gandhi shed it for the sake of the poor, but Narendra Modi, who claims to be a tea-seller, went for Rs 15 lakh suit after becoming Prime Minister.”
Mahatama Gandhi had launched his satyagrah for the cause of farmers from Bitharwa, 12 km from Ramnagar, in 1917 against the British rule.
The occasion served as the launch pad for the poll campaign by the grand secular alliance of Congress, JD(U) and RJD in the Bihar elections. The rally is the first major show by the alliance after the announcement of the five-phase Bihar Assembly poll.
Before this, the secular alliance had organised a “swabhiman rally” at Patna on August 30 in which Sonia Gandhi had shared dias with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Kumar and Lalu Prasad skipped the rally but deputed K C Tyagi and Tejaswi Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad, to represent their parties.
A day before the Congress is organising a mega-kisan samman rally in the national capital, Rahul warned people of the backward agrarian state that “Modiji and his friends wearing suit-boot want to usurp your land. They say you give your land and they will give development and jobs to the youth of Bihar.
“Your land will be taken away and you will not get any employment. We have formed this alliance because we want to protect poor, weak and the oppressed. We want to save you from Modiji and his friends”.
The Congress vice president made several references to “elitist culture” promoted by the Prime Minister in support of his “suit-boot ki sarkar” barb.Taking a swipe at the PM over his talk of employment generation and Swachh Bharat (clean India drive), Gandhi said Modi chose to discuss these issues with a group of “suit boot wearing friends.”
“If you are honest towards the cause, go to safai karamchari and unemployed youths instead of making tall claims about employment generation and cleanliness in the company of elitist suit-boot wearing friends,” he said.
Asking people not to be lured by “false promises” made by Modi like he did in the last general elections, he alleged, “After winning the election, his suit-boot wearing friends from Delhi and Gujarat would come to Bihar for land of farmers under the new Land Bill and they would be obliged by the NDA government.”
Taking potshots at the PM, Gandhi said, “Britishers wanted to take farmers’ land against which the Father of the Nation launched an agitation and in the same way the Modi government is also interested in snatching farmers’ land through the new Land Acquisition Legislation.
The Gandhi scion also touched upon the PM’s defence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje in the Lalit Modi controversy. He also mentioned Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh and questioned the PM’s silence over it.
“While Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhra Raje’s families profited from Lalit Modi, PM gives the slogan of ‘na khaunga na khane doonga’ (I will neither engage in corruption nor allow anyone to indulge in it),” the Congress leader said in a bid to puncture Modi’s claim of fighting graft.
He also referred to the Rajasthan government’s doing away with the practice of providing free medicine in hospitals in Rajasthan begun during the Congress rule and PDS scam in Chhattisgarh to slam Modi’s claim of “wiping out corruption.”
He said Modi had promised to revive the sugar mill in Champaran, “but, has it come about even after 15 months of his becoming PM?”
Unlike the BJP-led NDA coalition, the grand secular alliance of Congress, JD(U) and RJD was not of “suit boot walo ki sarkar” and cared for poor, Gandhi said and highlighted that none of the persons attending the rally was wearing “suit-boot.”
In a bid to connect with the youths, he said the future government of grand secular alliance in Bihar would facilitate Rs 4 lakh bank credit to students.
Earlier, Ghulam Nabi Azad slammed the PM on his Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package for Bihar, saying, “He had made announcement of a similar kind of package for Jammu & Kashmir for the victims of flood, but nothing has come so far.”