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Congress only alternative: Rahul

Only Congress has the capability to defeat the BJP, led by Modi not the TMC, the Congress chief asserted

By Abhijeet Chatterjee in Purulia
  • Published 8.05.19, 1:37 AM
  • Updated 8.05.19, 1:37 AM
  • 2 mins read
Rahul being presented with a Chhau mask by the Congress’s Purulia candidate, Nepal Mahato, at the rally in Kotshila on Tuesday. Picture by Biswanath Roy

Rahul Gandhi has said only the Congress could be considered as an alternative to Narendra Modi and the BJP and asserted Trinamul and other parties are not in a position to oust the saffron camp from power at the Centre.

The Congress president underscored the party’s recent victories in the Assembly polls and urged people to vote for the Congress to defeat the BJP.

“Let him say what he wants to against me. We will defeat him. Only Congress has the capability to defeat the BJP, led by Narendra Modi. Not the Trinamul Congress, not any other party,” Rahul told a rally in Purulia’s Kotshila on Tuesday.

“The Congress has emerged as the only alternative to the BJP at the centre. We have defeated Modi in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and many other states. We have proved that only the Congress can take on Modi,” he added, asking the people to ensure the Congress’s victory in a large number of seats in Bengal.

Rahul’s remarks have come at a time Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is projecting Trinamul as the spearhead of regional forces that she says will form the next government at the Centre. However, unlike his past two rallies in Bengal during the current election campaign, Rahul did not attack Mamata or her party on Tuesday and restricted his criticism to questions on whether she had given enough jobs or contributed to the improvement of the lives of farmers.

Sources in Trinamul claimed change in Rahul’s campaign theme was indicative of his realisation that a non-BJP government could be formed at the Centre only with Mamata’s help.

Rahul said he didn’t believe in making false promises, unlike Modi, and iterated that the Congress’s proposed minimum income guarantee scheme Nyay would act like a “surgical strike” on poverty.

“Nyay will be implemented if the Congress is elected to power. It will eliminate poverty from our country, it will be like a surgical strike on poverty,” he said. “Modi failed to fulfil his promises of 2014. I do not believe in making false promises like him.”

Rahul accused the Prime Minister of having become the chowkidar (watchman) of the elite and not of the masses.

“He only lies, wherever he goes…. Modi is the chowkidar of big people, such as Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya. He is not the chowkidar of the common people,” the Congress president said, asking the people to take lessons from the demonetisation drive and trounce the BJP to prevent such “disasters” in the future.

The Congress chief accused Modi of spreading hatred and division in the society and promoting violence.

“He has run out of things to say and needs a teleprompter wherever he goes. He is aware that there is no force in the country that can get him re-elected,” he said.

“The people of Hindustan will not let Modi become the Prime Minister once again,” he said.