Bihar: Rahul sounds poll bugle with three promises

Bihar: Rahul sounds poll bugle with three promises

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses 'Jan Akanksha Rally' at Gandhi Maidan, in Patna. (PTI Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a vitriolic attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doling out peanuts to farmers in the interim budget presented on February 1. He also outlined what his Government would do for the farmers, students and the poor if it came to power in May 2019.

Sounding the poll bugle in Bihar, which sends 40 members to the Lok Sabha, Rahul lashed out at PM Modi for granting Rs 17 per day to a farmer, while providing benefits to the tune of several thousand crores to his friends in the corporate world.

“Modi Ji can help Anil Ambani with Rs 30,000 crore, Mehul Choksi with Rs 35,000 crore and Vijay Mallya with Rs 10,000 Cr. But he cares two hoots for the farmers. In the interim budget, (about which the PM was seen continuously thumping his desk), he has promised farmers Rs 6000 per year, which essentially means Rs 17 per day. If a farmer has a five-member family, each member will be entitled to Rs 3.5 per day,” Rahul said while striking an emotional chord with the audience at Patna’s historic Gandhi Maidan. He was addressing the 'Jan Akanksha rally' (Public expectation rally) organised by the Congress and attended by other Mahagatbandhan leaders. 

The Congress president promised Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) for everyone if the Congress-led alliance came to power. “Unlike Modi Ji and Amit Shah, we do not make promises which can’t be fulfilled. Apart from minimum income guarantee, we will waive loans for marginal farmers, just like we did in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. And thirdly, the day we are voted to power, Patna University will be granted central university status,” said Rahul amid loud cheers from the youth.

The central university status to Patna varsity is likely to become a major poll issue in Bihar as Modi had turned down the plea of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who, literally begged for it with folded hands before Modi during the varsity centenary celebrations in 2017.

Flanked by Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Rahul highlighted how the UPA government had given Bihar an IIT, an IIM and two central universities (one at Champaran and other at Bodh Gaya). “Besides, RTI, RTE (Right to Education) and MNREGA were revolutionary steps. We ensured economic empowerment of poor and downtrodden through MNREGA. While Modi Ji, through demonetisation, replaced old Rs 500 and 1000 notes with Rs 2000 notes. Demonetisation was one the biggest scams,” the Congress chief was unsparing in his diatribe against Narendra Modi.

Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav also spoke on the occasion.