Will Modi accept Rahul Gandhi’s challenge for a public debate on corruption?by Opinion Express March 2, 2019 0 comments
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Friday, dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a public debate with him on corruption, seeking to bring the various scams involving the NDA Government back into the Lok Sabha poll agenda.
Addressing consecutive public rallies at Dhule in North Maharashtra and then in Mumbai, Gandhi castigated Modi for “politicising” the current conflict with Pakistan, to cover up for his “miserable failure” at creating jobs and for handing out a measly cash assistance of Rs 17 a day per farmer family under the PM Kisan scheme.
Taking Modi head on the issue of corruption at a large public rally held at MMRDA ground, Gandhi had a caustic dig at the Prime Minister for his failure to address even one press conference during the course of his five year tenure and said: “I regularly address press conferences…. Aap kabi desh ka chowkidar ko press ke saamne dekha hain? Inko 15 minute dedo, Mera saamne bithado. Dudh ka dudh pani pani kardenge (Have you ever seen the country’s chowkidar address the media?. Make him sit in front of me 15 minutes, I will call his bluff)”.
“Mai Narendra Modi ko challenge deta hun. Brashtachar ka mamle pe aap aake mera saath baat karo. Inko samne khada kardo nahi tho mera nahi tho do minute debate kardo do minute. Hindustan se bagna na pad jay mai deklunga ( I am challenging Narendra Modi. Let him debate with me on the issue of corruption. Let me him stand in front of me stand beside me and debate with me on corruption for two minutes. I will see how he will not run away from the country).
Responding a shout from a member in the audience “Chor bhag jayega” shout, Gandhi said, “Darpok hain. Khada nahi ho pata hain (He is scared. He can’t stand before me). … Kaisa aasakta hain. Wo nahi aayega (How will he come to debate with me? He will never come).
Gandhi, who began his 25-minute speech after conceding to a request from the audiences to indulge his supporters with “chowkidar chor hain” sloganeering, said that “chowkidar chor bhi darpok bi hain” ( Chowkidar is not merely a thief but a coward)
At his earlier rally at Dhule, Gandhi went hammers and tongs at Modi over the Rafale issue and demanded to know as to why the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which had experiences of fighter aircraft for 70 years and made aircraft like like Mirage, Sukhoi and Jaguar, was denied the Rafale contract. He said that the Government had no answers for the specific questions raised by him in Parliament and outside.
“Did Anil Ambani make Mirages or Sukhois?. For 70 years HAL has been making planes. Anil Ambani cannot even make paper planes,” Gandhi said.
Dubbing demonetisation as a big failure, Gandhi said: “You stood in a queue outside banks… Did Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya stand in queues…while you were standing in queues outside banks, they were busy making their black money into white on the rear side of the banks,” he said.
“Modi ji said (before 2014 elections)…do not make me Prime Minister, make me ‘chowkidar’….and once he becomes PM, he puts Rs 30,000 crore in pocket of Anil Ambani,” Gandhi said..
Slamming Modi for politicising the ongoing conflict with Pakistan, Gandhi said: “On day one, I had told my party men not to politicise Pulwama and the subsequent air strike on terror camps and that we stand by the Government. But, the Prime Minister blatantly politicised the issue and attacked the Congress at the national memorial event”.
“Here is a Prime Minister who cannot stay away from public relations exercises for even five minutes. He has been doing precisely that during the ongoing military stand-off with Pakistani,” the Congress president.
Ridiculing Modi for handing out measly cash assistance of Rs 17 a day per farmer family under the PM Kisan scheme, Gandhi said: “I was surprised to see Piyush Goyal getting thunderous applause from the treasury benches during his budget speech. I wondered what it was all about. The applause was for the Government giving a dole of Rs 17 per farmer family per day under the PM Kisan scheme. Which in essence means that the Government is giving meagre Rs 3.5 per person per day as cash assistance”.
“Modi should be ashamed of himself. On one hand loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of corporate bigwigs crore waived and on the other hand Rs 3.50 is being given to each person per day in farmer family,” he said.
The Congress president said that while the Modi government could waive loans amounting to Rs 3.5 crore piled up by 15 corporate bigwigs, it did not have money to waive the loans of farmers. “Its crop insurance scheme is a big scam. The private insurance companies owned by Anil Ambani take money from farmers and give a pittance back to farmers as compensation while pocketing the rest,” Gandhi said.
Coming down heavily on the Modi government for his “miserable failure” to create jobs in the country, Gandhi said: “Modi promised two crore jobs a year but failed to deliver. He merely wasted five years of his tenure through false promises”.
Gandhi said that in the event of the Congress coming to power at the Centre in the 2019 elections, India would compete with China in creation of jobs.
Among other things, Gandhi promised a “minimum income programme” to the poor and needy people in the country, under which money would be transferred directly to the accounts of beneficiaries and 500 square houses to the slum dwellers in Mumbai under the Slum Redevelopment Scheme.
“The BJP government in the state is promising slum dwellers 250 sq foot houses under the Slum Redevelopment Scheme. Within 10 days of our coming to power in the state, we will take this decision,” Gandhi said.
Courtesy: The Pioneer
Writer: TN Raghunatha