Vanthli: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring the rich and giving a raw deal to farmers, and said he will not allow the creation of “two Indias”.
Gandhi addressed poll rallies at Vanthli in Junagadh district and at Bhuj in Kutch district, ahead of April 23 Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat .
Speaking at Vanthli village, he promised that if voted to power, the Congress will introduce a separate budget for the farming community and a ministry to exclusively address issues of fishermen.
“For the last five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to create two Indias. One for the people like Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi. Modi fulfils all their demands.
“Another India is of the poor, small traders and labourers….Congress will not allow Modi to create two Indias. If we are having one flag then we must have one nation. If Ambani gets justice, then farmers too should get it,” Gandhi said.
He promised that the Congress will waive loans of Gujarat farmers within 10 days of coming to power.
The Modi government took no action against industrialists who defaulted on repayment of loans of thousands of crores of rupees, the Congress chief alleged.
“If a farmer defaults on repayment of Rs 20,000, then he is sent behind bars. No industrialist was jailed for not repaying loans. We will change this situation… We will change the law to ensure that farmers are not jailed for failing to repay loan,” he said.
Gandhi reiterated the promise in the Congress’s manifesto to introduce a separate farmers’ budget.
“In that budget, we will make advance provisions for MSP (minimum support price) to be given for crops during the year, rate of compensation and insurance. Farmers will get to know everything in advance through this budget,” he said.
The party’s ‘Nyay’ scheme to give Rs 72,000 to poor families every year will not harm the economy, but “instead, it will help the economy to grow”, he said.
He also promised a simpler Goods and Services Tax, jobs to 10 lakh youths in panchayats, and exemption from taking any permission to start and run a business for three years to young entrepreneurs.
Addressing a rally in Bhuj in the evening, Gandhi accused Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of snatching farmers’ land “across India and in Gujarat”.
“Our land acquisition bill (drafted during the UPA rule) clearly stated that no one can take away farmers’ land without their consent.
“However, the first thing Modi did after coming to power in 2014 was to stall the bill. Later, it was diluted at the state level,” the Congress chief alleged.
On the ‘Nyay’ scheme, he said, “Modi talks about a surgical strike (on terrorists’ camps) nowadays. I want to tell you that our Nyay scheme is a surgical strike on poverty. We will eliminate poverty in one strike.