Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax rollout by the Centre broke the backbone of the common people, especially small traders.
Gandhi was addressing a public meeting in Ujjain after taking the darshan of Lord Mahakal in Ujjain as the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by him continued its onward journey in Madhya Pradesh.
"Demonetisation (implemented in 2016) and GST broke the backbone of the people, especially those doing small businesses," Gandhi said.
The Congress MP said labourers who walked long distances during the COVID-19 lockdowns, farmers, and small traders are the "real tapasvis" and not him.
"I have not done any tapasya (penance) by marching in Bharat Jodo Yatra. Labourers who walked long distances during COVID-19 lockdowns, farmers who are producing foodgrains for the people, and small traders are the real 'tapasvis' of the country," he said.
Unfortunately, they are not getting their dues whereas only 4-5 industrialists are being benefited, he alleged.
"Small shop owners and traders provide employment to a large number of people in the country, but their hard work is not recognized. The money is snatched from their pockets and given in the hands of the 4-5 industrialists," Gandhi said.
Referring to the VYAPAM scam in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said such frauds deprived youths of employment despite studying hard.
"Media wanted to show reality to the people but they are unable to do so because their hands are tied," he added. The "VYAPAM" scam, known by its Hindi acronym of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, involved alleged malpractices in the entrance examination, admissions and recruitment.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )