New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday made a fierce attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of corruption, promised to break walls in the party between workers and leaders to revitalise it and compared BJP to Kauravas and his party to Pandavas for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll battle.
In his concluding remarks at the party's 84th plenary, he said "the name Modi" symbolises collusion between corrupt Indian businessmen and the Prime Minister of India, termed BJP President Amit Shah as "a man accused of murder" and accused RSS of trying to control institutions including judiciary, parliament and police. The party adopted resolutions on economic situation and foreign policy on the concluding day of three-day session and authorised Gandhi to nominate members of the Congress Working Committee.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his remarks, accused Modi of resorting to further 'jumlas' by promising to double farmers' income and charged his government of messing up the Indian economy. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who moved the resolution on economic situation, accused the government of not generating jobs and damaging existing employment through demonetisation and flawed implementation of Goods and Services Tax and said only the Congress can bring the country out of the present "crisis".
Gandhi, who got rapturous applause from the assembled gathering at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here, packed his address with a lot of punches at Modi, the BJP and RSS. He sought to energise the Congress rank and file with the party having tasted some electoral success in recent past after a string of reverses over the past four years. Gandhi particularly focused on the youth and farmers, sections that are perceived to be getting disenchanted with the government, and whose support is critical for the Congress to make an electoral comeback in 2019.
He promised to create jobs for the youth and, referring to the Rs 70,000 crore farm loan waiver by the UPA government, said the party would be prepared to help farmers in a similar way if needed. Gandhi also sought to take sheen off Modi particularly on the issue of corruption with his fiercest attack on the the BJP leader, and referred to former Indian Premier Leagure (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi and diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, who are accused in different cases of fraud for the purpose.
"Nirav Modi, who carried out India's biggest theft has the same name as our PM. It's an interesting fact that there is more. The most corrupt man in cricket also shares the same name with the PM. So what does Modi actually mean? The name Modi symbolises the collusion between the India's biggest crony capitalists and the PM of India," he said.
"Modi gives Modi Rs 30,000 crore of your money and, in turn, Modi gives Modi money for marketing Modi and winning elections. That is what is going on," he said. Accusing the Prime Minister of hoodwinking people with his promises terming it "Modi maya", he also charged Modi of trying to divert attention of people and "jumping from one event to another, surgical strikes to demonetisation, from Gabbar Singh Tax to a fancy yoga parade in front of Parliament".
Attacking BJP President Amit Shah without naming him he said: "They (the people) will accept a man accused of murder as the president of BJP. But the people will never accept the same in the Congress party as they expect higher standards." Gandhi said the battle of Mahabharata was for India's future and the same question was being asked today.
"Centuries ago, there was huge battle on the field of Kurukshetra. The Kauravas were powerful and arrogant, while the Pandavas were humble and they fought for the truth. Like the Kauravas, the BJP and the RSS are designed to fight for power, but like Pandavas, the Congress is designed to fight for truth," he said. He said BJP's dharma was to conquer power while Congress fights for people.
He accused RSS of telling Muslims that "you don't belong to here", Tamils to "change your beautiful language", people from the northeast that "we don't like what you eat" and women to"dress properly or will thrash you". He said people go the courts for justice and he had seen it for the first time that judges went to people for justice. Seeking to inspire the party rank and file, he said: "Congress workers will show in 2019 how party fights an election and wins it."