Rahul says BJP will be ousted, vows one GST

Gandhinagar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the BJP-led NDA government will be ousted in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and promised farm loan waiver, minimum income guarantee scheme and a single-rate GST regime if the Congress comes to power at the Centre.

He said the Congress would deliver on its promises unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “which only made promises but didn’t fulfil them in the last five years”.

Addressing a public rally here after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), Gandhi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s patriotism, asking why he was not telling the nation that it was the earlier National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which had released Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar — the man behind the Pulwama suicide bombing.

He said Azhar was nabbed and sent to jail during the Congress government, and claimed that it was incumbent National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who had escorted him to Kandhar in a special aircraft.

Gandhi also questioned Modi’s “self-proclaimed” fight against corruption and accused him of taking financial favours from industrialists such as Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.

Attacking the Prime Minister over his promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizens, he asked the gathering: “Did you get Rs 15 lakh as promised by Modi?”

The Congress President also said that his party is going to come to power and would do “something historic”.

“Modi waived loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of 15 industrialists…he gave money to the rich. But the Congress will give money to the farmers and the small businessmen. I assure you that we will form the government in 2019 and implement a minimum income guarantee scheme across the nation and will put money directly into the bank accounts of the poor,” he said.

The Congress delivered on its promise within two days of forming governments in the states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said, adding that he felt bad for not being able to do the same for Gujarat’s farmers who also need it just as much.

Accusing the BJP of spreading hatred, Gandhi said by doing so, the party is trying to divert attention from the real issues like unemployment, “which was the highest in the last 45 years”, and the farmers’ issues.

He also criticised the BJP for creating a complex Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with five different taxes, which people “do not understand even now”. He said the Congress will reform the GST after coming to power by making it a single-tax regime.

Gandhi also questioned Modi’s demonetisation decision, saying while the Prime Minister claimed it was part of a fight against black money, it only hurt the poor.

“In those queues outside banks, did you see Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi? It was only the poor who stood in those queues,” he said.