Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday tore into the Prime Minister’s ‘main bhi chowkidar’ (I too am a watchman) campaign, saying Narendra Modi wants to make everyone a chowkidar after being caught.
Gandhi was addressing a rally in Kalaburagi in the northern Hyderabad-Karnataka region, where Mallikarjun Kharge, who was leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, is set to go up against a Congress rebel leader Umesh Jadhav, who recently switched over to the BJP.
“When he became prime minister, Modi said make me chowkidar, he didn’t say make the whole country chowkidaar,” Rahul Gandhi said. “Whose chowkidari did he do? Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi,” he added.
Gandhi said on the day when around 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Reserve Police Force were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, there was a small news article that said that six of the airports had been handed over to industrialist Gautam Adani.
Speaking on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Gandhi said that it was the biggest defence deal in the world and the United Progressive Alliance government had insisted that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd be allowed to make the aircraft.
“The first thing Modi did was that he went to France with Anil Ambani and changed the whole deal,” the Congress president said.
Watch: Rahul Gandhi takes a jibe at BJP’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign
Gandhi said the youth of the state were denied employment opportunities that would have come their way had HAL been a part of the deal. “But chowkidar wanted to give it to Anil Ambani, who hasn’t ever produced an aircraft,” he said.
Gandhi said Ambani directly benefitted to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore from the change in the deal. “The former Central Bureau of Investigation director wanted to launch an inquiry, but chowkidar removed him in the middle of the night. The Supreme Court said he should be reinstated, but again he was removed within hours,” Gandhi said. He added that the former French President Francois Hollande had said that the Ambani was given the Rafale contract only because Modi had insisted on it.
The Congress president accused Modi of not keeping his promises. Modi had promised that Rs 15 lakh would be deposited directly into every person’s accounts, and that he would provide 2 crore jobs a year, but these promises hadn’t been fulfilled, Gandhi said.
In contrast, the Congress which had promised a farm loan waiver to the people of the state, not only delivered on this in Karnataka, but had also launched similar schemes in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Modi had waived Rs 3.5 lakh crore worth of loans of only the 15 top industrialists, he said.
“We’ve decided that after elections, the Congress government will give money directly to the people through a guaranteed minimum wage,” Gandhi said. “No other country has done this but Congress is doing this for the poor.”
Gandhi said, the Congress’s vision for farmers in the country extended beyond loan waivers. “Waivers will definitely help, but we want to change your future. We want to set up food processing plants next to your farms so that those who grow potatoes can have a chips making unit nearby, those who grow tomato can have a ketchup making plant near their farms,” he said.
The Congress president accused the BJP of trying to create two Indias, one of the poor and the other of the rich, where the poor had to spend lots of money on healthcare and education. “I’m not saying there should be no space for the private sector. However, the government also has a responsibility to see that the poor have colleges and hospitals. We will fulfill these responsibilities,” he added.
Responding to Gandhi, BJP state spokesperson S Prakash said the Congress president was unable to understand the meaning of chowkidar. “Of course, the Congress party will have a problem with those trying to rid society of evil,” he said.
Mar 18, 2019 15:45 IST
‘After getting caught PM Modi wants to turn everyone into chowkidar’: Rahul Gandhi – Hindustan Times