Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday accused the Narendra Modi government of following policies which benefited the rich and neglected the poor. BJP leaders have “turned arrogant”, while the poor suffer and deal with price rise and unemployment, Ms. Vadra said.
Ms. Vadra, accompanied by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other Congress leaders, launched the rural segment of Indira Rasoi Yojana and addressed a rally at Niwai in Tonk district. She urged people to return the Congress to power in the State Assembly elections, saying the party had taken care of the common people through its flagship schemes.
Modi cares for tycoons
Ms. Vadra said Prime Minister Modi held the interests of his industrialist friends above everything else and was extending benefits to them at the cost of public welfare. “When Mr. Modi goes abroad, he strikes deals for crony capitalists. Though he says that India’s respect has grown in foreign countries, it is only big industrialists who are getting business from there,” she said.
The Congress leader said the BJP’s only focus was to remain in power, for which it had pulled down elected governments in several States. When inflation and unemployment were the biggest challenges before common people, the BJP was raising emotive subjects to divert attention from the real issues, Ms. Vadra said.
“The forthcoming Assembly election in Rajasthan is not a fight between two political parties. These polls will decide your future. The biggest question is who is willing to ensure that you will get your rights,” Ms. Vadra said. The BJP government at the Center had trampled on people’s rights over the last nine years, she added.
BJP against welfare
Ms. Vadra said if the BJP comes to power in the State, it would discontinue public welfare schemes initiated by the Congress. She questioned the BJP’s logic that the old pension scheme was not financially feasible and said the Centre had waived bank loans worth hundreds of crores of rupees owed by industrialists, but had no money for social security of retired government employees.
Affirming that the people were supreme in a democracy, Ms. Vadra said the BJP government at the Centre had looted the poor to help Mr. Modi’s billionaire industrialist friends. The Centre had earned an extra ₹32 lakh crore by increasing taxes on diesel and petrol, but all this money belonged to the poor, she said.
Ms. Vadra also criticised the Centre for reducing its share in development projects in the States to 50%. In Rajasthan, the people should ask the BJP why the Centre had stopped several railway projects and gone back on its promise to give national project status to the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project, she said.
The Congress general secretary took a swipe at Mr. Modi over waterlogging at the G20 Summit venue following rains in New Delhi. She said it was a message from God to “reduce your ego, put the country first and make the people supreme.”
The 400 Indira Rasois for villages launched by Ms. Vadra will provide food at a subsidised rate of ₹8 per meal. Their number will increase to 1,000 by this month-end. Similar eateries have been providing food to the poor people in urban areas since 2020.
Besides Mr. Gehlot, Congress’s Rajasthan in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dostara, former Deputy Chief Minister and Tonk MLA Sachin Pilot, Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi and several Ministers attended the rally.