Lucknow: In a scathing attack on Narendra Modi-led government, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused him of being anti-farmer and gave his government "zero" marks.
On a visit to his Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi, Gandhi told party supporters that he was asked by a journalist to rate the Modi government on a scale of 1 to 10.
Gandhi said he could tell how much people would give marks. "On one hand, the farmers, the poor, the labourers, youth in want of jobs, the Dalits, they will give zero marks. On the other, Modi-ji's industrialist friends will give him full marks. This is the difference."
Also taking pot-shot at the prime minister, Gandhi said only his industrialist friends could give him a 10 on 10 as they were the ones being benefitted by the one-year-old government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Criticising the cancellation of the food park in Amethi by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, Gandhi said it was done due to "politics of revenge". "If they want to get even with me, they are free to do so but why harm the interests and compromise the welfare of the farmers?" he told reporters at the site where the food park was to come up.
"Had the food park taken off, farmers of 10 districts would have been directly selling their produce to 40 food-processing units," he said while slamming the BJP for "being grossly unfair to the farmers, labourers and the poor of Amethi". Referring to the stalemate in parliament over the land acquisition bill, the Congress vice president said his party would not yield to the government on the issue and would rather go ahead with its opposition.
In the eventuality of the bill getting through in parliament, the Amethi MP said, his party will oppose it on the streets of the country. On the second day of his visit on Tuesday, Gandhi would be meeting farmers in Sangrampur who lost their crops due to unseasonal rains and hail. Surya Pratap Shahi, former state BJP president, replied to Gandhi's barbs, saying the Congress leader had neither any concern for farmers nor any knowledge.
"He is a seasonal leader who comes out from hibernation from time to time. The farmers know what Modi government is doing for them and by repeating a lie repeatedly would not turn the tide in Congress' favour," Shahi told. Meanwhile, saying Rahul Gandhi was being "merciful" in allocating "zero" marks to the Modi government over its performance, Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told : "Had it been me (instead of Rahul Gandhi), I would have given him marks in minus."
"If you snatch land of the farmers and the poor and give it to industrialists, then they will certainly give you zero marks or even would mark you in minus," he said.