Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi kicked off his Bihar poll campaign Saturday with the jibe ‘feku‘ (poser) at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of trying to usurp farmers’ land on the name of development. In reply, BJP called Rahul a ‘baby’, saying the grand-old party was reluctant to make him the president because of his childish statements.
Here is what Rahul said at the West Champaran rally, a region where Mahatma Gandhi had waged a battle to free farmers from indigo farming forced by Britishers:
- “While the Mahatma shed his suit and donned a dhoti as he led the poor farmers, Modi who claimed to have started as a chaiwala (tea seller) started wearing Rs 15 lakh suit after becoming Prime Minister.”
- “Modi says I and my friends wearing suit-boot will change India. Give two crore new jobs every year, provide 100 per cent enhanced minimum support price to farmers for their produce and would deposit Rs 15 lakh in everyone’s account by getting back black money stashed abroad. Tell me whether any of these things happened?”
- “Your land will be taken away and you will not get any employment. We have formed this alliance because we want to protect poor, weak and the oppressed. We want to save you from Modiji and his friends”.
- “When you go to other states for jobs like Maharasthra, then you will be told that you will not get that because you do not know their language.”
- “Modi used to say neither he will engage in corruption nor will he allow anybody to do so (naa khaoonga, naa khaane doonga). He kept on saying it when External Minister Sushma Swaraj was helping Lalit Modi, when the entire education system was sold out in MP and Vyapam scam happened. PDS scam took place in Chhattisgarh.”
- “We were providing free medicines in Rajasthan, when there was a Congress government there. Vasundhara Raje’s government stopped this. You all know how much money one has to pay in private hospitals for treatment.”
- “It was not only Gandhiji, who fought for the poor. B R Ambedkar, Jagjivan Ram, Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru also fought for them. Congress party works for them.”
- “RSS and BJP think in a different manner. They believe that the poor and the weaker sections have no knowledge. They do not come to you and do no mix up with you. They want to keep their suits clean.”
- “We want to shed the suit boot, embrace the dhoti. This is our thinking. I had raised the matter of suit boot government in Parliament also and told them that their’s is not a government of the poor.”
- “Whenever RSS-BJP see elections nearing, they start putting one community against the other. They had done so in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during last Lok Sabha polls. They will do it again.”
- “Modi ji says he used to sell tea but now you see him. Some time back I saw Modi ji talking about the economy. I saw Modi ji sitting dressed spick and span with people in suit, wearing costly watches and carrying expensive pens. “Then there was a dialogue on employment with a group 25 persons —- everyone well-suited sporting expensive watches and pens. People in suit boot are sitting and discussing Swachch Bharat.”
- “If you want to discuss employment for youths, call them. They will tell you what is required to be done. One year has passed. Did the sugar mill start running?”