Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka: Congress chief invokes Mahabharat again, slams Modi on note ban, farmers' crisis

Congress president Rahul Gandhi brought in the Mahabharat analogy again at a Mangaluru rally as he compared BJP to Kauravas lusting for power. Earlier on Sunday during the 84th plenary session of Congress, Rahul invoked the epic Mahabharata in his address to thousands of Congress workers.

Following a roadshow on the streets of Mangaluru, the Gandhi scion accompanied by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah reached the rally venue where he attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on note ban, Rafale deal, alleged corruption and farmers' crisis. On note ban, Rahul said,"During demonetisation, prime minister Modi helped his industrialist friends to turn their black money into white when the common people had to stand in queues to exchange their hard-earned money." He also said that unlike BJP, Congress party has taken banks to every village.

Mentioning the Rafale deal, Rahul said, "Rafale deal was taken away from a public sector enterprise in Bengaluru and given to Modi's friend. This stole the jobs from Bengaluru youth. This is called corruption."

Reiterating his scathing attack on BJP president Amit Shah, he went on to say that today BJP's president is accused of murder and the whole country knows this. These things are expected from a party like BJP, whereas the people hold the Congress party at a high standard.

The Congress leader also accused the prime minister of favouring big businesses by waiving their loans while ignoring farmers.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses the crowd in Mangaluru on Tuesday evening. Twitter@INCIndia

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses the crowd in Mangaluru on Tuesday evening. Twitter@INCIndia

Promising voters that they would waive off all farm loans if they come to power in 2019 general elections, Rahul said, "Modi waives loans of rich corporates, we will do it for our farmers as it is their right." Later, he visited the Rosario Church and Sri Gokarnanatheshwara temple in Mangaluru .

Earlier, Rahul had said that Modi is "insulting" the common man by claiming credit for India's progress, as he embarked on this third visit of poll-bound Karnataka.

Rahul accused the BJP of dividing people despite its talk of dharma.

"Wherever Narendra Modi goes, he says 'nothing has happened in the last 70 years'. He is insulting your parents, poor farmers, labourers, small businessmen of India.

"If this country stands as equal to other countries of the world today, it has not happened in two years. It has taken years of time, sweat and blood of common people. Modi should stop insulting the common man," he told a rally at Padubidre in coastal Udupi district.

No single person can take a country forward, he noted.

Rahul spoke about social reformers to attack the BJP, which he accused of dividing people.

"BJP people talk about dharma, but wherever they go, they divide people by pitting one against the other. On one hand they praise Basavanna and Narayana Guru (social reformers), and on the other hand every day they indulge in things that these two great people fought against," he said.

Rahul, who visited the northern parts of the state during the previous two rounds, in now on a two-day trip of south coastal Karnataka and Malnad regions.

Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, which have a strong BJP presence, and Hassan, the home district of former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda, are on his itinerary.

Noting that five major banks originated in Udupi district, Rahul said the Congress party's idea behind that was to take banks to the people, and blamed the Modi government for mounting Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in public sector banks.

"We took banks to villages. But if you see today, there are NPAs worth lakhs of crore of rupees of rich people.

"About 10-15 rich persons of India have taken away your Rs 8 lakh crore. In the last few years, BJP has waived Rs 2.5 lakh crore loans taken by 15 rich people... but when a farmer asks for loan waiver Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley say it is not our policy," he added.

Repeatedly invoking social reformers Narayana Guru and Basavanna, Rahul said the two preached "we are all one".

"Modi speaks about Basavanna and Narayana Guru. I want to ask him a question. You speak about Basavanna and Narayana Guru, then why do you differentiate between rich and poor?" he said.

Rahul, who has been visiting religious places during his election tours recently, will pay obeisance at Ullal Dargah, Sringeri Sharadamba Temple and also Sringeri Mutt. He will also meet the Shankaracharya of the Sringeri Mutt.

The Assembly elections in the state are likely in April-May this year.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 21, 2018 07:02:27 IST

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