Nobody cares whether you like dosa or vada: Rahul Gandhi to PM Modi in TN

The Congress MP also said the Modi government should be called the Adani government

Rahul Gandhi (centre) and M.K. Stalin (far left) in Coimbatore (photo: PTI)
Rahul Gandhi (centre) and M.K. Stalin (far left) in Coimbatore (photo: PTI)


Senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the Narendra Modi government is actually the "Adani government", and expressed confidence that the BJP regime at the Centre will be dislodged with INDIA bloc's win in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing an election rally along with chief minister and DMK president M.K. Stalin in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Gandhi claimed, "Narendra Modi and Adani's policies have created two Indias. One India of billionaires and the other of poor people."

The bonhomie between the Congress and the state's ruling DMK was evident as Stalin welcomed Gandhi as "dear brother", and said he would bring a new dawn for a new India.

The former Congress president addressed the Dravidian party chief as elder brother and said he never addresses any other politician thus. Stalin described the Congress party's manifesto as the 'election hero' and praised Gandhi, saying through his yatras, he had learned of people's problems and come up with his party's manifesto. The Congress manifesto reflects social justice as championed by the DMK, Stalin said.

Gandhi said "the storm is set to arrive, Narendra Modi is going to be dislodged from power", and the Modi government was actually the "Adani government, it should be called Adani government and not Narendra Modi government".

Be it airports, highways, or any infra project, somehow the government of India "just gives it" to Adani, he claimed, and alleged that Adani "wanted Mumbai airport" and "owners of the airport got CBI enquiry", and a few weeks later, when they handed over the airport to Adani, the Central agency's enquiry disappeared. "Anything he wants he just gets."

After he raised the Adani issue in Parliament, his Lok Sabha membership was taken away by the government and he was thrown out of his house in Delhi, he said.

If voted to power, the INDIA bloc government is determined to take "revolutionary and historic action" never seen before in any country corresponding to the size of India, Gandhi said, and outlined the features of the Congress manifesto which includes women's empowerment and job creation.

Asserting that the election is an ideological battle and "no longer a normal election", he said the rights of all the people of the country, their histories, languages and their way of life is protected by the Constitution. "The Constitution is not an ordinary book, it is the soul, it is the voice of India's people. That soul and that voice is being attacked by the prime minister and the RSS."

Gandhi alleged that BJP MPs openly stated "they are going to change the Constitution" if they retained power at the Centre. India's institutions belong to all its people and they do not belong to the RSS. Most vice-chancellors of universities now come from the RSS, and the bureaucracy and legal system was infiltrated by the RSS, which is an "attack on the very idea of our nation", he said

In Tirunelveli, Gandhi had similarly alleged that all of India's institutions and agencies have been "stuffed full of RSS people".

He slammed Modi over the electoral bonds scheme and said it became apparent subsequently that it was "extortion". Further, he alleged "this is the single biggest act of corruption done by anybody in the world", and yet PM Modi claims to be cleaning up politics.

Though PM Modi says he likes dosa, in Delhi, he speaks of "one nation, one leader, one language", Gandhi said and asked "why not space for all other Indian languages", including Tamil and Manipuri.

Hitting out at the PM for "attacking" Tamil culture, history, tradition and language, he said Tamil farmers were starving and Tamil youth unemployed. "For the first time in Indian history, farmers are paying tax."

"Modi ji, you might like dosa, you might like vada too, that is not the issue here. Nobody cares whether you like dosa or vada, we care whether you like the Tamil language. We care whether you respect Tamil history. We care about what you are doing for the future of this country and Tamil Nadu."

The nation is witnessing its highest rate of unemployment in the last 40-45 years, and 83 per cent of those unemployed are youth, he said. "India today is more unequal than it was under the British. Twenty-two of India's richest people have as much money as 70 crore citizens."

Earlier, addressing a rally in southern Tirunelveli, Gandhi promised legislation to provide apprenticeship to young people and fill 30 lakh vacant government jobs, dubbing the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) anti-poor.

There are 30 lakh vacant jobs in the government and they will be provided to young people, he said, and added that a law — Right to Apprenticeship — would be passed in Parliament in order to benefit all graduates and diploma holders.

"I know, the people of Tamil Nadu have a big issue with NEET. We are going to leave the decision to the state; on whether you want NEET or not. NEET is an anti-poor exam and we are more than happy to allow you (Tamil Nadu) to take a decision on whether or not to take the exam."

Choosing from the DMK's campaign themes, the Congress leader said when Tamil Nadu seeks flood relief, it is "refused" by the Centre. The DMK has been consistently focusing on the Rs 37,000 crore flood relief sought by Tamil Nadu, alleging that the Union government did not give even a single paisa.

The Centre labels Tamil Nadu's request for flood relief as "pitchai", a plea made to seek "alms", Gandhi alleged. DMK and Congress have been claiming that Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman belittled flood relief as "pitchai".

When fishermen seek assistance they get nothing from the Centre, and similar is the plight of Tamil farmers, who are forced to go to Jantar Mantar in Delhi to fight for their rights, he claimed.

Gandhi bought sweets from a bakery in Coimbatore and posed for a photograph with workers there, while Tirunelveli marked his first election rally in Tamil Nadu.

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Published: 12 Apr 2024, 11:33 PM