PM Modi gave you Rafale, will give you assured income: Rahul Gandhi in Odisha

Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday at a public rally at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district of the state. he alleged that PM Modi and CM Patnaik work in tandem to “snatch people’s land and give it to their industrialist friends”. Gandhi said Patnaik is a “remote controlled” by PM Modi.

Gandhi said, “Modi gave you Rafale (scam), we will give you minimum guaranteed income…No power in the world can prevent us from giving minimum income support to the poor…This is not a promise like giving Rs 15 lakh or providing 2 crore jobs.”

The Congress president repeated his charge against PM Modi saying, “Chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is a thief) and Naveen Patnaik is remote controlled by chowkidar. Whatever chowkidar tells Naveen Patnaik to do, he just agrees to it.”

Beginning his speech at the rally in Oriya, Gandhi said, “In the budget, they (the BJP) claimed to have taken historic step of providing assistance to the farmers. But what they offered is Rs 3.5 per person per day in a farmer’s family. They promised only Rs 17 a day to a family of farmers.”

“(PM) Modi gives Rs 3.5 to farmers but he waived off the loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of 15-20 industrialist friends….We gave you MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), for which Rs 35,000 crore was spent every year under UPA (United Progress Alliance) government. Modi gave deposited money for 10 MNREGA schemes in his friends’ pockets,” Rahul Gandhi said.

The Congress president reiterated his party’s election promise to ensure minimum assured income to every poor in the country if it is voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He said, “The Congress had been working on the scheme for past five-six months.”

He alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government destroyed “all the schemes the Congress-led UPA government gave you”. He said, “We gave you MNREGA, Modi destroyed it. We gave you RTI (Right to Information), he destroyed it…whatever we gave you, he destroyed it.”

Taking on the Biju Janata Dal government of Naveen Patnaik, Gandhi said, “The BJD government is in Odisha for 18 years…But the tribal youths of the state don’t find jobs here…Odisha does not offer you jobs…Here your land is snatched, your jungle is taken away, but if you want jobs, you have to go to other places like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Delhi.”

This was the second visit of Rahul Gandhi to Odisha this year. Earlier, he visited the state on January 25. His visit comes days ahead of BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to the state. Shah is scheduled to visit Odisha on February 15. Shah had visited the state on January 29.

Chief Minister Patnaik is also on a statewide tour in an attempt to deal with the challenges posed by the two national parties. Odisha is likely to go to assembly election at the same time as the parliamentary polls later this year.

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