Modi taking money of common man, giving it to his 'crony capitalist friends': Rahul Gandhi
He was addressing a massive crowd of people who had turned up to hear him at Paravoor junction in Aluva and were also part of the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' as it moved through Kochi city during the day
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "taking out money from the pocket of the common man" and giving it to his "crony capitalist friends", one of whom was the second richest man in the world.
Gandhi, the Wayanad MP, further accused Modi of "clearing the way for big businessmen" by "smashing" the small businesses and entrepreneurs through his various economic policies like demonetisation and flawed implementation of GST.
He was addressing a massive crowd of people who had turned up to hear him at Paravoor junction in Aluva and were also part of the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' as it moved through Kochi city during the day.
"Day 14 of the #BharatJodoYatra has drawn the most massive turnout so far, in and around Kochi. It was a sea of tricolours amidst an ocean of people as the Yatris walked 23 kms. The Yatra has covered 310 kms in two weeks and the response has been overwhelming," AICC general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi, in his speech, said that besides demonetisation and flawed GST implementation, the COVID-19 lockdown also adversely affected small businesses, labourers, farmers and other sections of the society except for the few billionaires in the country who benefitted from it.
He alleged that while huge loans of big businessmen were waived off or termed as non-performing assets, when common people defaulted on loan repayments, their houses were seized or they were branded as criminals.
"His (Modi) job was to clear the way for big businesses. He did it by dividing the country and its people, by spreading hatred, anger and violence, so that people were distracted from what was actually happening," he said.
Explaining how it all allegedly happens, Gandhi said, "Modi divides the country, creates anger, takes away what is yours and gives it 3-4 of his crony capitalist friends who own the media and therefore, promote him on TV, flood his images on social media and he ensures they can monopolise any business they want."
"The result is that your money has gone into the pocket of one man who has become the second richest man in the world. This man can buy any airport or sea port, needs no permissions to do business, can dominate any sector," he added.
Rahul Gandhi said that the businessman in question gets his money from the public sector banks, which is actually the money of the people, and should be used to build schools and hospitals.
This has led to creation of "two Indias", one comprising a few billionaires who control all businesses and can fulfill any of their dreams and the other of the millions of people like famers, labourers, small businessmen, IT professionals, etc. who are unable to realise their dreams, he said.
Therefore, when prices of fuel and commodities rise, when subsidies are not given to fishermen, people should question where all that money was going as it never disappears, he said.
During the Congress rule, through policies like MGNREGA, it put money into the pockets of the people, but the Modi government through its economic policies was doing the opposite, Gandhi said.
"So, people should question where the money is going and this is what the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is trying to encourage, he said.
He also said that India was a country which defeated a superpower and attained independence through the principle of non-violence that was taught by Mahatma Gandhi and therefore, should treat everyone with love and affection and not anger and hatred.
Even Nelson Mandela said that he was able to endure his decades long imprisonment and continue the fight against apartheid after being released by following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he said towards the conclusion of his speech.
The 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' will cover a distance of 3,570 km in 150 days. It started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.
The yatra, which entered Kerala on September 10, will go through the state covering a distance of 450 km, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.