The Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sounded Lok Sabha poll bugle in Punjab and launched a scathing attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Rahul lauded Captain Amarinder for the farm debt waiver scheme, of which the chief minister today launched the fourth phase to provide relief worth Rs. 200 Crores to more 15,000 small farmers, besides bringing Dalit and landless labourers into the purview of the scheme by waiving off Rs. 520 Crores of the loan of 2.82 lakh farm labourers.
“We will protect farming at all costs,” the Chief Minister vowed, while Rahul declared that farm loans were being waived in all the Congress-ruled states, in contrast to the Modi government, which had failed to come to the rescue of the distressed farmers. “If Modi can waive off loans of big industrial houses, why can’t the loans of farmers be waived off,” asked the Congress president, lambasting the prime minister for tweaking the Rafale deal conditions to favour Ambani. Modi had played a cruek joke on the farmers by giving them Rs. 3.50 a day while giving industrialists crores of rupees as a gift, said Rahil, adding that the Congress, on coming to power at the Centre, would ensure a minimum guarantee scheme for all.
This chowkidar is clearly a chor (this guard is clearly a thief), declared Rahul, pointing to the Rs. 30000 crore benefit given to Ambani and the missing Rafale files, which would have shown that the arrival of the jets was delayed because of the parallel negotiations by the Modi government. The delay was costing the Indian Air Force (IAF) heavily, whose pilots’ lives had been endangered by Modi, said Rahul amid loud cheers.
Rahul also came down heavily on Modi for failing to deposit the Rs. 15 lakh he had promised during the last elections to be given to each family, and asked the massive crowd whether any one of them had got the promised money.
A loud NO was the answer from the crowd which cheered as Rahul lashed out at the Modi for cutting a deal with the Badals just before the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017 and the destruction of the informal sector with the reckless demonetization decision.
Accusing the prime minister of spreading hatred in the country, Rahul said the next election would be an ideological fight and Guru Nanak’s philosophy of love and mutual respect would win. “We will celebrate 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in a befitting manner, “ he added.
Even as he castigated the Modi government for not refunding Rs. 31000 crore of Punjab to the state and the ill-conceived GST, Rahul also questioned Union Minister Arun Jaitley for allowing Vijay Mallya to leave the country and demanded investigation against him. Jaitley had all the enforcement agencies at his disposal, Rahul pointed out, adding that the ED and the DRI were working under the control of the the prime minister and he should direct them to catch the big fish of the drugs mafia and those who ruined Punjab.
He, however, lauded the Chief Minister for breaking the back of the drugs mafia and said it was a matter of great satisfaction that youth wwere once again looking towards the future with hope.