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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Form of extortion: Rahul Gandhi slams Narendra Modi over electoral bond issue

Modi has given around Rs 16 lakh crores to 20-25 people in the country: Rahul

PTI Kozhikode/Wayanad (Kerala) Published 16.04.24, 04:51 PM
Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi File photo

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday over the electoral bond issue, describing it as a "form of extortion" and alleging "intimidatory tactics" against targeted businessmen.

"There are some people in every small town or village who extort money on the streets by threatening physical harm. In Malayalam you call this extortion 'kolla adikkal' (loot), but Modi calls it electoral bonds. What a common thief is doing on the streets, the PM is doing at an international level," Gandhi alleged.

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During his campaign in Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, the Congress candidate accused the BJP-led central government of using sophisticated tactics to threaten targeted businessmen.

He also lashed out at Modi, accusing him of helping a few rich businessmen in the country.

"At the electoral bond level, the threats are much more sophisticated. The ED, CBI and Income Tax people will come, they will interrogate and at the end of it, they will say why don't you give this (their business) to (businessman) Adani," the sitting Congress MP from Wayanad LS constituency alleged.

He alleged that this is how businessman Adani got the Mumbai airport from its previous owner.

In other instances, such "intimidatory tactics" also led to the businessman paying the BJP in electoral bonds, the Congress MP alleged.

He raised the electoral bond issue by referring to a recent interview of Modi.

"In his interview, he was trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet -- the electoral bond scheme through which the BJP got thousands of crores of rupees by extorting India's businessmen," Gandhi alleged while speaking to party supporters, workers and the huge crowd that turned up for his roadshow from Kodiyathur in Kozhikode district.

Later addressing people during another roadshow, Gandhi alleged that Modi "does not have the understanding to run the country".

The Congress leader also mocked the PM for his statements asking people to bang steel utensils and switch on their mobile phone lights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in Kodiyathur, Gandhi alleged that Modi's job was also to distract people from the real issues in the country, protect the richest businessmen in India and "forgive their bank loans".

Modi is helping "five or six of the biggest, richest businessmen" in India, he alleged during his campaign in areas falling under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of the state.

He claimed that Modi has given around Rs 16 lakh crores to 20-25 people in the country.

"But he does not talk of the issues farmers are facing in the country, the unemployment or the price rise," Gandhi said He said that since Modi was giving away money to a few rich people in the country, the Congress has decided to give money to the poor when it comes to power.

He promised to give Rs one lakh per annum to one woman from every poor family in the country and his government will frame a law that will make it mandatory to provide one year paid internships or apprenticeships to every graduate or diploma holder in the country.

Under the proposed law, the interns and apprentices will get Rs one lakh per year for their one year of training in their chosen field in the public or private sector or PSUs.

For women, he has also assured to provide 50 per cent reservation in government jobs, PSUs and government companies.

"We will also ensure reservation for women in Parliament and vidhan sabhas immediately," he added.

Additionally, he also promised to double the wages of Asha workers and women working in Anganwadis if the Congress-led INDIA bloc comes to power.

The Congress MP from Wayanad also said that the Agnipath scheme was an insult to the brave youth dreaming of joining the Indian Army and protecting the country and will be cancelled if the Congress-led alliance forms a government at the Centre.

Gandhi also accused the BJP and the RSS of trying to destroy and change the Constitution and said that this was the only big issue of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and all other issues emanated from it.

The Congress leader took out a massive road show from Kodiyathur here around 11.30 am as part of his ongoing campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the southern state and was accompanied by hundreds of party workers and supporters who ran alongside and ahead of the vehicle carrying him.

He intermittently sat atop the SUV or stood out of its sun roof constantly waving at the public gathered in large numbers on both sides of the road.

Party workers and supporters accompanying him carried placards with his photo.

Gandhi, who is hoping to win again from Wayanad, came to the constituency on April 15 for the second time after the date of the Lok Sabha polls were announced.

The Congress leader had kicked off the poll campaign in Wayanad early this month by filing his nomination papers and holding a massive road show.

He had won from Wayanad with a record margin of 4,31,770 votes during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Polling in Kerala's 20 Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 26.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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