Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi started the party's Goa poll campaign on Friday evening with a scathing attack on the BJP government at the Centre, saying the decision to demonetise high-value Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has impacted only the poor and the middle-class, while the rich get away. "If the BJP takes honest and genuine steps to eliminate corruption, the Congress party will 100 percent stand behind them. But they haven't done that. The demonetisation drive is waging war against India's people and its economy," Gandhi said.
He said going cashless will not solve the black money problem. "All cash is not black money and all black money is not cash. Most of the black money is stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. It's actually the poor people who have no choice but to use cash. By telling them one fine day that the money they have earned through hard work is just a piece of paper, Modi has delivered a big blow to the poor," he said.
It's only the country's 50 richest families who own a majority of India's total wealth, Gandhi declared. "You know who these people are. They are the super rich, the ones who travel with Modi and sign business deals with him. They have elected the BJP and brought Modi to power. These are also the people who have most of the black money. But do they have it in cash? They have it invested in gold, in property, in bank accounts abroad. Demonetisation hasn't impacted any of this. It's all just a charade that will neither eliminate black money nor corruption," he said.
The Congress vice-president further added that Modi knows this all too well. "Before the last election, Modi's campaign focussed heavily on black money. But did he speak of cash economy even once? He only spoke of Swiss accounts. He had vowed to personally ensure the return of money stashed away in foreign accounts. But has even one person been arrested so far? Has there been any action taken? In fact, there are people like Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya who are living with perfect freedom in London," Gandhi said.
Addressing a rally in the state's commercial capital Madgaon, Gandhi also alleged the BJP government in the state of siding with the notorious mining mafia. "They have sided with the mining mafia, and through notebandi, ensured the state's tourism industry has also been affected. And this is not restricted to Goa alone. This has also hit Punjab's bicycle industry, Pune's automobile sector and Kanpur's leather market," he said.
BJP governments in all the states controlled by the saffron party are anti-poor, said Gandhi. "On three different occasions, the Modi government at the Centre has tried to snatch away land from the poor. Even today, one poor farmer commits suicide every day. In Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh, all states ruled by BJP, the State has tried to snatch land belonging to Adivasis. If anybody raises a voice, he is beaten down," Gandhi alleged.
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
Updated Date: Dec 16, 2016 20:10:05 IST