Rajasthan: Kharge slams PM Modi, BJP for fielding MLA accused of assaulting Dalit engineer
"When we do something for the poor, [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi calls it freebies, whereas he waived loans of Rs 15 lakh crore of rich people," Kharge said
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim of working for the welfare of Dalits, pointing out that the BJP has fielded an MLA in Rajasthan who was denied candidature by the Congress for allegedly thrashing a Dalit engineer.
Kharge's remarks came shortly after Modi targeted the Congress government in Rajasthan over alleged atrocities against women and Dalits during a poll rally in Rajasthan's Bharatpur.
Barely a couple of hours after Modi's rally, Kharge and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot addressed a gathering in the district's Weir town where they sought to corner the prime minister over the issue.
"Modi, who says he is a messiah of Dalits, and keeps crying, saying 'I am poor and keep fighting for them', gave a ticket to Girraj Malinga, who was refused a ticket by us for thrashing [Harshadhipati] Valmiki," Kharge said.
The Congress leaders also met the victim, Harshadhipati Valmiki--who has been bedridden for a year after allegedly thrashed by Bari MLA Girraj Malinga and his supporters--at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur before arriving in Weir.
The BJP has fielded Malinga for the November 25 elections from the Bari seat.
Why Congress party refused ticket to Malinga
A case against Malinga and others was registered in March 2022 after two engineers were allegedly assaulted at the Bari office of the electricity department in Dholpur district. Later, he surrendered before the police commissioner in Jaipur and was subsequently arrested.
"It is a pity Girraj Malinga, who was not given a ticket by us (Congress) because he beat up a man so much that he was on the verge of dying. It is not acceptable to give a ticket to such a man even if we lose (the seat). We cannot see a man beating a Dalit youngster," Kharge said.
"On the one hand, you (Modi) talk about poor Dalits and you invite those who beat Dalits by giving them tickets on the other," he said.
"What could have happened if you did not give a ticket (to Malinga)?" Kharge asked.
He said a person with such an ideology should not get a place in any party.
"Sensible people have given him the ticket. Modi-(Amit) Shah together are encouraging people who thrash others," Kharge said.
'Modi broke his promise of 2 crore jobs'
The Congress leader also said there are 30 lakh jobs in the public sector but the Modi government provided fewer than one lakh of those. He alleged that the Modi government keeps people from ST/ST and OBC communities away from government jobs.
Kharge also accused Modi of speaking lies, saying the prime minister had promised two crore jobs and Rs 15 lakh to every individual but failed to fulfil those.
He said that the BJP works towards making the rich richer and the poor poorer and claimed that the Modi government waived loans of industrialists but did not give relief to farmers.
The Congress, on the other hand, works for the poor, farmers and youngsters, Kharge stressed.
"When we do something for the poor, Modi calls it freebies, whereas he waived loans of Rs 15 lakh crore of rich people," he said.
Kharge also asserted that Modi can try as much as he wants but the Congress will retain its government in Rajasthan.
"Modi can try as much as he wants, the Congress will retain its government in Rajasthan," he said.
Assembly polls in Rajasthan will be held on November 25. The votes will be counted on December 3.
On Agniveer scheme
Kharge also lashed out at the BJP-led Centre over the Agniveer scheme for short-term recruitment in the armed forces and said it was an attempt to mislead youngsters.
"The Centre brought the Agniveer scheme to mislead youngsters. We will find a way out if the Congress forms the government (at the Centre)," he said.
Kharge said big dams, roads and infrastructure were developed during the tenure of former prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru while Indira Gandhi nationalised banks and abolished privy purses.
He pointed out that the BJP leaders studied in schools and colleges built by the Congress government and yet they abuse the Congress.
Later, addressing a rally in Alwar's Tijara, Kharge referred to Modi as "jhuton ka sardar", claiming the prime minister made several promises in 2014 but failed to fulfil those.
Gehlot, who accompanied Kharge, talked up the Congress' seven guarantees during the rallies.
The chief minister has announced seven guarantees -- an annual honorarium of Rs 10,000 to women heads of families, cooking gas cylinders at Rs 500 to 1.05 crore families, purchase of dung from cattle rearers at Rs 2 per kg, law for old pension scheme for government employees, laptop or tablet to students taking admission in state-run colleges, insurance cover up to Rs 15 lakh per family to compensate for losses due to natural calamities, and school education in English medium -- if the Congress retains power in Rajasthan.
(With PTI inputs)