Hitting back at the Congress for its barbs against the NDA government at a farmers’ rally in New Delhi on Sunday, the BJP asked the party as to how many times will it “launch” and “repackage” Rahul Gandhi in the name of farmers.
The party sought an “apology” from Mr. Gandhi for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bringing the Land Acquisition Bill allegedly to pay back loans taken from industrialists to win Lok Sabha elections.
“We condemn this brazen contempt of popular mandate for Mr. Modi. Mr. Gandhi must understand that India is a democracy, not a monarchy to be governed by one family. By levelling such a charge he has insulted the mandate given by the people to the BJP. He should apologise,” said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Accusing Mr. Gandhi of spreading “white lies” on the Land Bill, Mr. Prasad said unlike what is being said, the proposed NDA Bill has the provision that corporates and private sector will have to take consent of 80 per cent of the farmers before acquiring their land.
Reacting to Mr. Gandhi’s criticism of the Gujarat model of development, Mr. Prasad sarcastically asked the Congress if it favoured “[Robert] Vadra model of development and land acquisition under which state apparatus and laws were bent to ensure windfall gains for the family from acquiring land of small and marginal farmers.”
Dismissing Mr. Gandhi’s charges about Mr. Modi’s visits abroad, Mr. Prasad said, “some people travel abroad for introspection but the Prime Minister goes abroad to take the country forward.”
To a question on Mr. Gandhi vowing to spearhead the debate on the Land Bill in Parliament, Mr. Prasad shot back, “The Congress has been waiting for the last 11 years for his meaningful interventions in Parliament.”