"For some time, we have been talking about how the BJP government does not work for the poor, the workers and the farmers," ANI quoted Rahul as saying. "PCC Presidents informed me of how BJP disturbs policies which Congress started for the poor. We will give them a befitting response," he added.
"We want to find out how the BJP government is attacking programmes started by us like the NREGA," said the Congress vice-president. "PM's job is to run the country, not make excuses. Maybe PM Modi has not figured this out yet... Today, even the big industrialists come to us and complain to us about PM Modi," he further said.
He again criticised the Modi government over the condition of farmers in the country and said the Congress, as an Opposition party, will put pressure on the government to act for the welfare of the farmers. "We want to put pressure on the government so that they pay attention to poor people and the farmers. We are not going to let the BJP government act in the interests of three or four of their capitalist friends," he said.
On Tuesday, As UPA's flagship scheme MGNREGA completed 10 years, Rahul Gandhi had attacked Modi for "failing" to understand its benefits and had said the NDA government wants to "finish" a rural job guarantee scheme that has come under all-round praise.
"The poor, workers, farmers, economists, the United Nations and the World Bank have understood the benefits of the scheme," he had said. He had claimed that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself praised the programme in private.
"...but the Prime Minister of India has not understood this," he had said at a public meeting in this village in Ananthapur district, where then prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched the programme a decade ago.
A host of Congress leaders, including Singh, Anand Sharma, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ambika Soni and Meira Kumar were present at the meet, which appeared to be a show of strength by the main opposition party.
"The BJP government at the Centre and TDP dispensation in Andhra Pradesh want to finish off MGNREGA. On one side, there are BJP, TDP governments and on the other, are farmers, workers and the poor of India and Andhra," he had said.
"Congress would stand by the poor, labourers and together we will strive to save MGNREGA and see that the money (wages) reaches (them)."
Gandhi had said that a few days ago, Jaitley came to invite him for his daughter's marriage and appreciated MGNREGA.
"He (Jaitley) told me it's a very good programme. I told him 'Why don't you say this outside? Why say so behind closed doors. Tell India that MGNREGA is a good programme'. He just smiled and did not say anything," Rahul had said.
"Modi rises in Parliament and says he does not want to end MGNREGA. 'Why I don't want to close the programme...I don't want to close because it's a living monument of failure of Congress'," Rahul had said.
"Modiji, if you don't want to listen to us, or Manmohan Singh, at least listen to Arun Jaitley."
Funds for MGNREGA are being slashed, said Rahul, who had earlier interacted with beneficiaries of the scheme, NGOs and sarpanchs in the village.
With inputs from PTI
First Published On : Feb 5, 2016 15:19 IST