Co-presented by


Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka: BJP-RSS want to suppress Dalits, says Congress chief in Kalaburagi

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Kalaburagi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi trained his guns on the prime minister over corruption, employment and farm loan waivers on Friday.

Speaking to supporters, Gandhi said Modi refused to relieve farmers of their debt, but that Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah did so within 10 days of his request. "India's farmers toil in the sun. But he (Modi) can't waive their loans. I went and asked him to waive their loans. But he never answered my question. Then, I went to Siddaramaiah and asked him about it. Within 10 days, he waived Rs 8000 crore worth loans," he said.

Challenging the Modi government, Gandhi said, "In four years, Modi didn't waive loans of India's farmers. And he will not too. But in 2019, when the Congress forms government, we will waive all farm loans within 10 days. If debts of wealthy people can be waived, the farmers loans will be waived too," he said.

 Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka: BJP-RSS want to suppress Dalits, says Congress chief in Kalaburagi

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Twitter@INCIndia

He also slammed the prime minister over Nirav Modi fleeing India, Union minister Piyush Goyal not disclosing his company and Amit Shah's son Jay Shah allegedly turning Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore. "While businesses in India are having a difficult time, the firm owned by the son of BJP president turned Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore."

"Our fight is to give you the money you deserve. BJP snatches your money and gives it to people like Nirav Modi, Reddy brothers and others. We won't let them loot you. We won't let thieves enter Vidhan Sabha," Gandhi said.

Gandhi criticised the BJP over Dalit atrocities across the country and said BJP and RSS are crushing the minority group. "The BJP-RSS is assaulting Dalits across the nation while Prime Minister Modi remains silent." He further alleged that the saffron party wants Karnataka to be run by the RSS. "BJP-RSS workers want to crush your language, history, culture and food," Gandhi said.

Gandhi also claimed that the Congress government provided the most employment in the country. "Even Modiji admitted it," he said.

The Congress chief also extolled the Indira canteen initiative. "You'll never find a person who is hungry here. Go to Gujarat, there is a line of starving people. Here, we give seven kilos of rice for free per family. In cities, there are Indira canteens. The poorest of the poor can have a full meal."

Speaking on education in the state, Gandhi said the state government provided free education to girls up to the post graduate level. He also taunted Modi's "Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao" programme and said, "His slogan has changed to 'beti bachao BJP ke MLAs se' (Save daughters from BJP's MLAs)," referring to the Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is accused of raping a minor in Unnao.

In a sharp retort to Modi's barbs, Gandhi said Siddaramaiah was unlike him. "Siddaramaiah takes everyone forward with him and never makes any personal attacks. Modi comes here and he can't talk about employment, education, technology, corruption, so he resorts to personal attacks on me and Mallikarjun Kharge," he said.

"He'll say things like Rahul Gandhi doesn't know how to give a lecture. But I respect the prime minister's post, and you will never hear an attack from me about the prime minister. But I will continue to ask him questions. I won't back off; I'm not scared of Modi," declared the Congress chief.

Promising the Congress government will continue helping the weaker sections of society, he said, "Our government will help the weak. We will get them farm loan waivers whenever they need, install food processing plants and get the right price for their products."

The Congress president began the eighth leg of his campaign on Thursday for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls. Resuming his "Jana Aashirwada Yatre", the Congress chief covered Bidar on Thursday and will visit Shiggaon and Gajendragad on Friday.

Your guide to the latest seat tally, live updates, analysis and list of winners for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 542 constituencies on counting day of the general elections.

Updated Date: May 04, 2018 14:25:54 IST