Modi govt working for welfare of billionaires, Congress govt will work for the poor: Rahul Gandhi
Addressing a convention in Chhattisgarh, the Congress leader said that his party wants tribals to become doctors, engineers, businessmen, lawyers. But the BJP wants them to remain in the jungles
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the Centre's Narendra Modi government of working for the welfare of 2-3 billionaires of the country and stressed that the Congress governments in the states and the Centre will work for the welfare of the poor and the common people.
Addressing a convention of the Rajiv Yuva Mitan Club at Mela Sthal in poll-bound Chhattisgarh's Nava Raipur, Gandhi said the country cannot progress with hatred and violence.
It will march ahead by taking everyone together with love, he said.
Rajiv Yuva Mitan is a scheme of the state's sports and youth welfare department.
The Wayanad MP said the BJP calls tribal communities 'vanvasi' instead of 'Adivasi' because it does not want them to come out of the forest and fulfil their dreams in various sectors.
Referring to recently published newspaper articles against industrialist Gautam Adani, Gandhi said the article published in a leading financial newspaper claimed Adani is close to Narendra Modi and he has sent thousands of crores of rupees to other countries and used that money to hike his share prices in the stock market.
"Whose money is this? The PM should tell the people of Chhattisgarh and the country why he doesn't want a probe against Adani. I want to make it clear why he does not want a probe as it will cause harm to someone else, not Adani," he added.
He accused the BJP and PM Modi of working in the interest of 2-3 billionaires.
"Be it in (the Congress-ruled) Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh or upcoming governments of our party in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh, our government will be the government of the poor and not the government of Adani," the former Congress president said while exuding confidence of victory in poll-bound states.
It was Gandhi's first visit to Chhattisgarh, where assembly elections are due this year-end, after the Grand Old Party held its plenary session in the state capital Raipur this February.
Further hitting out at the BJP, he accused the opposition party of spreading hatred and violence, asserting that the Congress' work is to open "mohabbat ki dukaan" (shop of love) in the "nafrat ke bazaar" (market of hate).
"The country cannot progress and become economically empowered with hatred and violence. The country will move forward by taking everyone with love and respect," he added.
"We (Congress government) introduced PESA (The Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas Act) for our Adivasi brothers and sisters in Chhattisgarh and ensured protection to their land," Gandhi said.
He targeted BJP for describing adivasis as "vanvasis (forest-dwellers) and claimed the saffron party doesn't consider tribals as the "owners of Hindustan".
"Adivasis are the original owners of Hindustan and the first owners of the land, water, and forests, and have first rights over them. However, the BJP has coined a new term 'Vanvasi'. This word has a different meaning. Their thinking behind the word (vanvasi) is that you (tribals) are not the owners of Hindustan," Gandhi said.
He said Congress wants tribal youths to dream to excel and it will fulfil them.
"We want them to become doctors, engineers, businessmen, lawyers and judges. But the BJP wants tribals to remain in the jungles. We want tribals to get their rights but also fulfil their dreams. In the entire country, they (BJP) are spreading hatred and making one religion fight with another, one caste with another and one language with another," Gandhi said.
He said Congress workers should shoulder the responsibility to spread love wherever they (BJP) spread hatred. The Bharat Jodo Yatra had the same motive to spread love and unite people, he added.
"I want to tell youths in this state to come forward to take on responsibilities to run the state and join politics. Youths should not lag behind because the future belongs to them. With an aim to encourage youths we have constituted Rajiv Yuva Mitaan Clubs in the state and associated three lakh members with it," Gandhi said.
Gandhi said he is happy that the Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh has been focusing on aiding small traders and businessmen who were hit by the GST rollout and banknote ban.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Bhupesh Bahel urged people to re-elect Congress in upcoming polls.
In a dig, he said if people press the lotus symbol button (on EVMs), the VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) box slip will show the vote (cast) to Adani.
(With PTI inputs)