Rahul Gandhi slams PM Modi over electoral bonds, calls it 'form of extortion'

'There are some people in every small town or village who extort money on the streets by threatening physical harm. In Malayalam, you call this extortion 'kolla adikkal' (loot), but Modi calls it electoral bonds,' said Gandhi.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:15 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:15 IST

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Kozhikode/Wayanad: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday over the electoral bonds issue, describing it as a 'form of extortion' and alleging 'intimidatory tactics' against targeted businessmen.

"There are some people in every small town or village who extort money on the streets by threatening physical harm. In Malayalam, you call this extortion 'kolla adikkal' (loot), but Modi calls it electoral bonds. What a common thief is doing on the streets, the PM is doing at an international level," Gandhi alleged.

During his campaign in Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, the Congress candidate accused the BJP-led central government of using sophisticated tactics to threaten targeted businessmen.

He also lashed out at Modi, accusing him of helping a few rich businessmen in the country.

"At the electoral bond level, the threats are much more sophisticated. The ED, CBI and Income Tax people will come, they will interrogate and at the end of it, they will say why don't you give this (their business) to (businessman) Adani," the current Congress MP from Wayanad LS constituency alleged.

He alleged this is how businessman Adani got the Mumbai airport from its previous owner.

In other instances, such 'intimidatory tactics' also led to the businessman paying the BJP in electoral bonds, the Congress MP alleged.

He raised the electoral bond issue by referring to a recent interview of Modi.

"In his interview, he was trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet -- the electoral bond scheme through which the BJP got thousands of crores of rupees by extorting India's businessmen," Gandhi alleged while speaking to party supporters, workers and the huge crowd that turned up for his roadshow from Kodiyathur in Kozhikode district.

Later, addressing people during another roadshow, Gandhi alleged Modi 'does not have the understanding to run the country'.

The Congress leader also mocked the PM for his statements asking people to bang steel utensils and switch on their mobile phone lights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier in Kodiyathur, Gandhi alleged Modi's job was also to distract people from the real issues in the country, protect the richest businessmen in India and 'forgive their bank loans.'

Modi is helping 'five or six of the biggest, richest businessmen' in India, he alleged during his campaign in areas falling under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of the state.

He claimed Modi has given around Rs 16 lakh crore to 20-25 people in the country.

"But he does not talk of the issues farmers are facing in the country, the unemployment or the price rise," Gandhi said

He said that since Modi was giving away money to a few rich people in the country, the Congress has decided to give money to the poor when it comes to power.

Gandhi promised to waive the loans of farmers, give Rs one lakh per annum to one woman from every poor family in the country and frame a law that will make it mandatory to provide one-year paid internships or apprenticeships to every graduate or diploma holder in the country.

Under the proposed law, the interns and apprentices will get Rs one lakh per year for their one year of training in their chosen field in the public or private sector or PSUs.

For women, he has also assured to provide 50 per cent reservation in government jobs, PSUs and government companies.

"We will also ensure reservation for women in Parliament and vidhan sabhas immediately," he added.

Additionally, he also promised to double the wages of Asha workers and women working in Anganwadis if the Congress-led INDIA bloc comes to power.

Besides these, he said that the GST would be simplified with there being a single tax bracket with a minimum tax.

The Congress MP from Wayanad also said the Agnipath scheme was an insult to the brave youth dreaming of joining the Indian Army and protecting the country and will be cancelled if the Congress-led alliance forms a government at the Centre.

Gandhi also accused the BJP and the RSS of trying to destroy and change the Constitution and said that this was the only big issue of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and all other issues emanated from it.

He said the Constitution gives equal rights to everyone irrespective of their language, religion, region or gender and this is what the BJP and RSS are allegedly trying to destroy.

Gandhi also alleged that the BJP manifesto was an empty document which only talked of bringing the Olympics to India and sending a man to the moon.

"The Congress manifesto is the voice of the people of India," he claimed.

The Congress leader took out a massive roadshow from Kodiyathur here around 11.30 am as part of his ongoing campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the southern state and was accompanied by hundreds of party workers and supporters who ran alongside and ahead of the vehicle carrying him.

He intermittently sat atop the SUV or stood out of its sun roof constantly waving at the public gathered in large numbers on both sides of the road.

Party workers and supporters accompanying him carried placards with his photo.

Gandhi, who is hoping to win again from Wayanad, came to the constituency on April 15 for the second time after the date of the Lok Sabha polls were announced.

The Congress leader had kicked off the poll campaign in Wayanad early this month by filing his nomination papers and holding a massive roadshow.

He had won from Wayanad with a record margin of 4,31,770 votes during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Polling in Kerala's 20 Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 26.

Published 16 April 2024, 14:15 IST

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