Free Press Journal

Bharat Bandh: Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi, says ‘hatred is being spread, one Indian is fighting the other’


New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Monday alleged that hatred was being spread and the country being divided under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also said that a united opposition will defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a protest rally at Ramlila grounds here organised by the Congress and joined by other opposition parties over fuel price hike, Gandhi also questioned the silence of PM Modi on fuel prices and the Rafale fighter jet deal. Taking a dig at Modi, he said the PM often says that what has happened in the last four years of his rule has not happened in 70 years is actually true.

“Hatred is being spread, one Indian is fighting the other, the country is being divided,” he said.

Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Bandh against fuel prices, made his first appearance after returning from the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage. He marched from Rajghat, where he paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and offered water from the Mansarovar lake, to Ramlila grounds with other opposition and Congress leaders as part of the country-wide protest.

At the Ramlila grounds, he was joined by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and top opposition leaders, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar and Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was present at the rally but did not speak. All opposition parties are sharing a common platform, he said, adding that this is a reflection of opposition unity.

“Sharing the same ideology, we will together defeat the BJP,” he said.

The Congress president said it is unfortunate that the pain of the people of the country, including farmers, youth and women, is being shared by opposition leaders present at the event but not by Narendra Modi.

“This is the difference between them and us. We promise from here that we will unitedly work together to remove the BJP,” he said.

Gandhi wondered why the PM was silent on rising petrol and diesel prices, farmer suicide, rapes in which BJP MLAs are involved and the Rafale deal.

“What the country wants to hear, what the youth want to hear, PM Narendra Modi does not talk about it. Don’t know which world he is in, he keeps giving speeches… The country is fed up of seeing him,” he said.

While farmers are unable to find a way forward, only 15 to 20 crony capitalists are seeing the way forward, he alleged.

Hitting out at the PM and his government on the Rafale deal, he said the Rs 45,000 crore “free gift” being given to his “friend” belongs to the people of the country and has been snatched away from the people, he said. Gandhi also accused the prime minister of “destroying” business through demonetisation and GST which he dubbed “Gabbar Singh Tax”.

“We are unable to understand what purpose the note ban achieved. PM claimed black money will be eradicated. But is has turned out that back money of all thieves has turned white. Then came Gabbar Singh Tax … corruption has risen because of that, ask any businessman. But Narendra Modi does not speak about it. This is the truth of the country,” he said.