Amethi: Rahul Gandhi today made light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for poll-bound Bihar, saying he is in the habit of giving such promises for votes and feared it would go the “One Rank One Pension” way.
The Congress Vice President also said that Modi has funds for Bihar package, but when it comes to ex-servicemen, he cites shortage of money. “He has money for foreign trips, but not for our jawans.”
Hours after Modi announced the Bihar package at a rally in the state, Rahul on a two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency pilloried the prime minister and said he would not be surprised if he announces a similar package for Uttar Pradesh before it goes to polls which is due in 2017.
“Modi had promised OROP during Lok Sabha elections. Has the promise been fulfilled?” Rahul retorted when his comments were sought on Modi’s Bihar package. Ex-servicemen are agitating in Delhi for implementation of Government’s promise of One Rank, One Pension(OROP).
Rahul was talking to reporters in Raniganj village in Shukulbazar on the first day of his visit.
On his first visit to Amethi after the Monsoon session of Parliament which saw Congress creating a storm over issues like Vyapam scam, Lalit Modi row and Land Acquisition Bill, Rahul also made a scathing attack on the Modi government, accusing it of working only for the sake of capitalists.
“Modi spoke about package in Bihar. By making such promises, time is wasted. He speaks and people listen and then comes another promise. BJP and Modi ji think that the whole world lives in dreams.
“But the world works to earn their money and this is a joke that is happening. And they are thinking that the countrymen will not understand this. Give them 1.5 lakh crore rupees and they will be in agreement… That if they (people) are made promises of job, they will fall (for them),” he said at an interaction with locals.
The Congress leader reminded people of Modi’s promise of getting back black money from abroad and depositing Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizen on coming to power.
“What happened to the promise,” he posed, adding Modi was only luring the people of Bihar by promising a bountiful package.
Rahul also charged the Modi government with changing the parameters of measuring the economic growth to claim that it was growing at a good rate.
“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley does not want to say that India is not growing at a rapid pace. He has changed the way the GDP is measured. The whole world is saying what have you done?” he said.
The Congress vice president also claimed credit for the government’s failure in getting the parliamentary nod for the amended land bill, saying his party “saved” the farmers land by putting up a fight in Parliament.
He alleged that the land bill smacked of Modi government’s intention to snatch land from farmers and give it to capitalists.
“Narendra Modi government is working only for the sake of capitalists,” he said while interacting with people in Pure Ladai village.
Rahul asked farmers as to how many of them have got jobs in return for their land acquired by the government.
The Congress, he said, could alone protect the interests of the country for which the party needs to be strengthened.
Rahul alleged that the NDA government wanted to grab the land of the farmers through Land Acquisition Bill, “but Congress went hammer and tongs against the measure and opposed it”.
He said Modi believed that Congress members, after being reduced to 44 in Lok Sabha, would not be able to fight.
“Modi said they are 40-45, what can they do? We fought in Parliament and saved your land,” he added.
At the same time, he said his party could not meet the aspirations of the people to the desired extent as it was not in power at the Centre or Uttar Pradesh.
“It is amusing that the PM talks about his “Man ki Baat”. We are not interested in his “man ki baat”, we are interested in your “man ki baat’,” he told the locals.
The Congress leader said that PM’s words must carry some weight and not end up as a tall talk.
“But he only gives speeches and makes promises, which never get fulfilled. When BJP come under pressure a new promise is made. We have to fight against this,” he said.
Rahul, who landed at Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Lucknow this morning, headed straight to his constituency to hold a series of interactions with the people to apprise them of Centre’s “anti-people” policies.
During his brief stopovers on way to Amethi, he sought to drive home the point that Congress alone could protect the interest of the nation.
“It is your duty to strengthen Congress. The future of the country lies in the hands of Congress,” was his refrain at his roadside meetings with locals.
He also raked up External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s help to former IPL boss Lalit Modi, who he alleged is “the number one broker of black money”.