Launching a blistering attack on Narendra Modi, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi said all that the Prime Minister "does is tell lies and steal from the poor people." Gandhi, who addressed three election rallies in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, spread over the districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode and campaigned in Thirthala in Palakkad district, attacked Modi and RSS and touched on corruption. "All the PM does is tell lies and steal from the poor people.
Six airports were given to his friend Adani on the day the Pulwama attack took place. And he (Modi) says they were fighting black money. Modi said demonetisation was to fight black money, but it destroyed the Indian economy. Fifty lakh people lost their jobs after demonetisation," the Congress chief said while winding off his campaign at Thrithala this evening.
All praise for Wayanad, the second constituency from where Gandhi is contesting for which he was attacked by Modi and BJP, Gandhi said he wanted to represent the remote district as the "beautiful place" symbolises different ideas and cultures. Addressing a rally in Nagpur last week, BJP president Amit Shah had chided Congress president Rahul Gandhi for selecting his second seat in north Kerala, saying "when a procession is taken out there, it is difficult to make out whether it is India or Pakistan." Shah was referring to the IUMLs green flags during Rahul Gandhi's roadshow in Wayanad on April 4 after filing his papers.
Gandhi also said the saffron party was arrogant and believed that they can re-define Indian history. "Only the Indian people can define, decide about the country. It does not matter that Uttar Pradesh is much bigger than Nagaland. The voice of all Indians matter.
This is the fight that is taking place. Why do these people want to define India ?. The entire goal to re-define India is to steal from India.
The entire idea is to create two Indias. One India for the Ambanis, Adanis, Nirav Modis, Mehul Choksies, Vijay Mallya's and one for others", Gandhi said lashing out at the Prime minister. He also said poor farmers who took meagre loans of around Rs 20,000 were behind bars for non-repayment while the rich who availed loans over Rs 35,000 crore was walking free.
Continuing his tirade against Modi and the RSS, Gandhi said issues of Kerala should be decided by the people and not by Modi or the RSS chief. In the three rallies in Wayanad, Gandhi tore into the BJP-led NDA government and said the saffron party was only interested in imposing its ideology on people of the country.
"Who is Mohan Bhagwat to teach us about culture and history?. Kerala should be run by the people of Kerala. This is the same sentiment in the state after state," he said, addressing a rally at Wandoor in Wayanad constituency. Taking a jibe at Modi, Gandhi said he was not here to tell his 'Mann Ki Baat', but understand the various difficulties, including the night travel ban, man-animal conflicts and lack of medical facilities being faced by the people here.
"I understand there are complex problems here. There are man-animal conflicts. There is a conflict between development and the environment.
I want to see a solution. I don't believe in imposing a solution. I believe in the wisdom and intelligence of our people in resolving such issues," Gandhi said. "I am not like the Prime Minister. I am not going to make false promises and tell you I will give you two crore jobs or Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts or that I will give farmers whatever they want.
I am not going to lie to you. Because I respect your intelligence, your wisdom, Gandhi said. The crowd also chanted 'Rahul, Rahul' when he said he wanted to have a lifelong relationship with the people of the hilly Wayanad constituency.
"I just don't want to have a relationship for just a few months. I want a lifelong relationship with you. I want the sisters of Wayanad to say that I am like their brother, fathers and mothers to say that I am their son," Gandhi said.
The voice of the south was as "important" as rest of the country, he said, adding Kerala was an example of peaceful co-existence. There is a lot that the rest of the country can learn from Kerala and Wayanad, he said.
Gandhi began his campaign in Wayanad by offering 'bali tharpanam' (paying obeisance to departed souls) to his ancestors at Thirunelli temple.
(With inputs from agencies.)