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In his Mann Ki Baat, Rahul promises DBT to poor, a simplified GST

Virendra Pandit/Rutam Vora Gandhinagar | Updated on February 14, 2019 Published on February 14, 2019

Accuses Modi andJaitley of ignoring farmers and backing scamsters

Exuding confidence, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday promised to deposit “minimum guaranteed income” directly into the bank accounts of the poor and simplify GST “as soon as Congress returns to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha election in 2019”.

“We will change the Gabbar Singh Tax and make it the real GST. There will be only one simple tax and no harassment from income-tax officers,” he said amid reports that the Congress Working Committee (CWC)’s crucial meeting could be held in Ahmedabad by February-end. This signals the importance that the Grand Old Party (GOP) is attaching to the home State of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah ahead of the upcoming elections.

“We are going to do historic work across the country. A revolution like the Green Revolution and the White Revolution is being planned. The Congress Party is working on providing a minimum guaranteed income to the poor, who will be paid money directly through bank accounts. “The way Modiji dumped money in Anil Ambani’s bank account, we will dump it in yours,” he said.

Ridiculing the recent announcement in the budget that ₹6,000 per annum will be given to the farmers, he said: “Our minimum guaranteed income will not be ₹3.50 per head or ₹17 per day per family.”

Launching his party’s election campaign from village Lal Dungari in Dharampur, Valsad district of South Gujarat, he also tore into the BJP and the Modi government, reprising the issues that he has raised recently. The Congress considers Lal Dungari “lucky” as Rahul’s grandmother Indira Gandhi (1980) and father Rajiv Gandhi (1984) had launched their poll campaigns from the tribal village and had romped home victorious.

“It is written in the government documents that Modi took away ₹30,000 crore from the Air Force and gave away to Anil Ambani. Therefore, we say the watchman is a thief,” he said.

According to him, Modi “clearly told the French President that if you want to sell the Rafale aircraft, then bury Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and bring in Anil Ambani. Even the French President says chowkidar chor hai. I asked PM four questions in the Lok Sabha. He looked here and there during his 1.5-hour speech but not into my eyes.”

On loan waiver

He said while the farmers and tribals had been crying for their rights, “the PM and Arun Jaitley said they have no policy to waive the loans. Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Mehul Chowksi...they all have fled away with thousands of crores.The PM has waived off 15 people’s loans worth ₹3.5 lakh crore. How much of farmers’ loans has been waived off?”

Land Acquisition Act

He accused Modi government of changing rules in the Land Acquisition Act, which mandated farmers’ and tribals’ consent for acquiring land and payment of four times the market price.

Referring to demonetisation, Gandhi alleged that Modi made the honest stand in queues, while the corrupt laundered their black money through the backdoor in the banks. ““Jay Shah (the BJP chief’s son), deposited about ₹700 crore in cooperative banks but Modi won’t speak about it,” he said.

Trying to connect with the Gujaratis emotionally, the Congress President said Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel had once shown the way to the country. Now, Gujarat should do likewise.

Exhorting the people to claim their rights, Gandhi said he had directed the PCCs not to sermonise the people with Mann ki Baat. “We are not the owners. You are. The government does not waive loans. It is the tribals and farmers who elect us to do so. The governments should just listen to them. We want to listen to your Mann ki Baat.”

Published on February 14, 2019
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