Vijayawada: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the ultimate goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to destroy the Constitution of India, but said the Congress would never allow this.
Kicking-off the party’s election campaign here, he said ‘divide India and steal from India’ is the politics of Modi. He said Dalits and minorities were being threatened and attacked across the country. “People are murdered and women are raped. There is atmosphere of fear. This is the politics of Narendra Modi. Divide India and steal from India,” he said in a rally.
“Everybody knows the ultimate goal of Modi is the destruction of the Constitution of India. We are never going to allow that. Dalits, minorities, tribals, farmers, weaker sections, everybody has a right to live in this country in peace. This country is not the personal property of one man or one organization,” Gandhi said. The Congress President promised that if voted to power in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress would waive off farm loans within two days as it did recently after coming to power in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
He also said if voted to power at the Centre, according special category status to Andhra Pradesh would be one of the first things the Congress would do. Gandhi, whose party is going alone in next month’s Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, avoided direct attack on Telugu Desam Party (TDP). He remarked that the parties in Andhra Pradesh had not been aggressive in pushing Modi to give the special status to the state to fulfil the commitment made by the Centre.
He targeted YSR Congress Party President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy for corruption. “You know the mismanagement that has taken place in Andhra Pradesh. You know that the state is struggling. You also know the corruption of Jagan Reddy,” he said. Gandhi said the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments lifted more than 14 crore people out of poverty and gave jobs to millions of people through schemes like MNREGA.
“We gave the right to food security to the country, gave our children meals in schools, we created new law to protect lands of farmers, tribals and Dalits,” he said, adding that after coming to power in 2014, Modi dismantled everything UPA had done. “He did not stop at that. He carried out demonetization, hitting hard small and middle size businesses, poor and farmers. He then brought GST, further complicating life of small and middle size shopkeepers,” Gandhi said.
Alleging that Modi declared war on poor and weak, he said the Congress would declare war on poverty. “The Congress will carry out surgical strike on poverty. We will give ‘Nyaya’ to people of India. This is our non-violent weapon against poverty,” he said, referring to the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme promised in the Congress manifesto. He said 20 per cent of the poorest people, earning less than Rs 12,000 a month will be identified and given Rs 72,000 directly in their bank account every year. He said five crore families or 25 crore people will benefit from this scheme. “Every family will get Rs 3.60 lakh in five years. I am not Modi. I do not lie. He said he will give Rs 15 lakh. It was a lie.”