Rahul slams BJP over corruption, Patel statue

'Tea sellers should get respect, not one who tricks people'

Rahul slams BJP over corruption, Patel statue

With barely a week left for the BJP's “Chai pe charcha” campaign, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a subtle dig at the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying that respect should be given to “chaiwalas, farmers, taxiwalas”, but not those who “take people for a ride”.

Addressing a rally in the Bardoli town of south Gujarat, Gandhi took a dig at Modi, who is known to flaunt his modest beginning as a tea vendor. “The entire India does some work. Some make tea, some drive taxis, some are farmers. We need to respect everyone. But don't respect those who take you for a ride,” remarked Gandhi.

Gandhi tore into Modi’s campaign for a Sardar Patel statue. “They have no understanding of Sardar Patel's ideologies, but they say they want to make a statue. Patel had proposed a ban on the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The leadership of this state is aligned with those very people,” he said.

The congress vice-president also hit out at the Modi government over the corruption issue. “While they go around the country talking about corruption, there are three ministers in the state cabinet who have been convicted for corruption,” said Gandhi.

Calling the state government “pro-corporate”, Gandhi remarked that the BJP believed in “Garib hatao” rather than “Garibi hatao”.

On the other hand, he claimed, the Congress was working for the poor.

Earlier, Gandhi took part in the Vikas Khoj Yatra, an Youth Congress initiative kickstarted on January 18. The party claimed it was aimed at exposing “misgovernance of the Modi government”. Rahul also visited the Swaraj ashram from where Sardar Patel had spearheaded the historic Bardoli civil disobedience campaign against the Britishers.

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