Rahul Gandhi sounds 2019 poll bugle at Wardha on Gandhi Jayanti

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on a padyatra through Wardha on October 2, 2018

Sounding the poll bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Gandhi Jayanti, Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched an all-out offensive against the Narendra Modi Government at a rally in Wardha

Sounding the poll bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on the 150th birth year of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched an all out offensive against the Narendra Modi Government at a party rally in Wardha, Maharashtra.

Addressing a huge rally at the Wardha’s Circus Ground, Rahul targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times in his speech. He raised issues from the demonetisation exercise to the controversial Rafale deal and fugitive businessman Nirav Modi.

Calling PM Modi a “liar”, the Congress President said Modi has only lied to the nation. “He lied to farmers, women, businessmen, poor people and downtrodden…” said Rahul.

Slamming Modi for failing his promises, Rahul said Modi called himself chowkidar but when time come to protect the wealth if the nation, he became a collaborator. “Chowkidar bhagidar ban gaya,” said Rahul, amid cheers from the crowd.

“He (Modi) asked people to make him PM …then he promised to work as chowkidar of the wealth of the nation…but he gave a contract worth ₹30,000 crores to his friend Anil Ambani, who has debt of over ₹45,000 crores. He (Modi) snatched money from the people of  the country and gave it to his friend in order to bail him out. What kind of chowkidar is he?” added Rahul, holding Modi responsible for the offset contract in the Rafale fighter jet deal going to Ambani’s Reliance Defence Limited, rather than to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Invoking Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri at the beginning of his speech, Rahul said truth and non-violence are the guiding principles of the Congress party. “Unlike the Modi government, the Congress party will work for the poor and the downtrodden of the society. We will take every section of the society along with us,” promised Rahul.

Spelling out difference between Congress and the BJP, Rahul told the cheering crowd that the Congress party wants to listen to “your mann ki baat.” People responded saying "abki bar, haath ka sath" (this time we are with the hand).

Before addressing the rally, Rahul led a 2-kilometre padyatra from Gandhi Chowk to the Circus Ground in Wardha.

Outlining broad issues which the Congress party is going to take up in the ensuing election, Rahul said time has come when people should come together and vote for change. He promised that the Congress party will work for the welfare of the people wholeheartedly, if voted to power

Tukaram, who had travelled around 200 kilometres to attend Rahul’s rally, said that the Congress President seems very convincing when he talks about the poor. “He is a very sensible politician, a rare kind of politician these days. He always talks about Dalits, poor and backwards of the society. Unlike Modi, he never talks about himself. This is what I like the most about him,” said Tukaram, who works as a tenant farmer.

Raising farmer’s issues at length, Rahul criticised Modi government’s apathy towards farmers in his rally. He recalled, “Modi ji had promised to double the income of the farmers but in reality he has lessened the price.

“UPA ke time se bhi kisano ko kam rate mil raha hai ya nahi (are farmers getting lower prices in comparison to UPA time or not )?” asked Rahul, to which people replied “Chowkidar chor hai, gali gali me shor hai” (in every street goes the cry, the watchman is a thief).

Outlining broad issues which the Congress party is going to take up in the ensuing election, Rahul said time has come when people should come together and vote for change. He promised that the Congress party will work for the welfare of the people wholeheartedly, if voted to power.

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