Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day Russia visit, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today took a dig at his foreign tours, saying such trips would not benefit the country and sharpened his attack on the NDA government over price rise.
“The PM is travelling abroad regularly, but people in those countries are very clever. These tours will not benefit India,” Rahul said during a meeting with Nyaya Panchayat chairpersons here.
He said Modi interacts with industrialists and these meetings had nothing to do with the common people.
Rahul also addressed a few roadside meetings in his Lok Sabha constituency during which he intensified his attack on the Modi government over price rise, saying ‘achhe din’ has come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.
“The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said on the first day of his two-day visit to Amethi.
Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.
“BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”.
He alleged that wherever Modi went for election campaign, he tried to create Hindu-Muslim divide for the sake of votes.
After Bihar assembly elections, he forgot as if no such state existed in the country.
Addressing a few roadside meetings, including at Nigoha and Chatoh, he asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans.
At a meeting of newly elected village heads at Ramsapur village in Chatoh block, Rahul said, “We could have changed the face of Amethi through mega food park and Hindustan Paper Mill and these projects would have provided employment to 15,000-20,000 people. Land was given for these projects, but BJP doesn’t want that a food park or paper mill is set up.”
He said 40 different factories were to be set up in the food park, which would have benefited farmers the most, but all hopes have been dashed.
The Congress leader also alleged that the Centre was trying to close schemes like MNREGA and RTI.
He said it was the responsibility of Congress to fight for MNREGA and his party workers could raise the matter in a big way during the 2017 UP assembly elections.
He said if Congress came to power in UP, Amethi would be benefited and asked party workers to go to villages and tell people about the “failures” of the Centre and the state government.
“We want the village heads to raise their voice against this. Besides, they should protest curtailment of their rights,” he said.
Noting that the modern panchayati raj system was the brainchild of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul said Congress favoured more powers for village heads.
He claimed various laws enacted by the previous Congress governments gave more powers to village heads, unlike the legislations brought by the Modi government.
The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party.
Rahul interacted with village heads on different issues, during which a gram pradhan asked him about the logic behind fixing minimum educational qualification by Haryana government for contesting panchayat elections.
He appeared to be in agreement with the decision of Haryana’s BJP government when he said a village head should have some minimum educational qualification to bring about development of the village.