AAP opened door for Modi; only Cong can defeat BJP: Rahul
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the AAP of "opening doors" for Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and asserted that it is only his party that can defeat the BJP.
Addressing a rally here, his second in four days in Delhi, Gandhi acknowledged that the Congress had made mistakes, but he said the party's intention is good and it does not promise anything it cannot deliver.
Canvassing for East Delhi candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely, the Congress chief said Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal make promises that cannot be fulfilled.
"The Aam Aadmi Party gave a slogan (in 2014) 'Arvind Kejriwal for CM and Narendra Modi for PM'. The doors for Narendra Modi were opened by the Aam Aadmi Party," Gandhi said.
"One cannot hear the slogan of chowkidar chor hain (the watchman is a thief) in the Aam Aadmi Party office. They don't have the courage to say this, but I am not afraid of Modi," he said.
At a rally on Monday, Gandhi had held Kejriwal responsible for the failure of alliance talks and said the AAP chief took a "U-turn" from an agreed position and wanted a tie-up beyond the Delhi.
Gandhi also cited posters that read, 'hum kaam karte rahe, woh rokte rahe' (we worked, they stalled), a reference to the turf war between the Delhi government and the Centre, and alleged when the AAP contested polls, it never highlighted this.
Taking on Kejriwal on the sealing issue, Gandhi said the chief minister complained that he cannot do anything on sealing.
"You are in power. Small traders... Delhi's backbone being broken, sealing is on. You are the chief minister and you say you cannot do anything? The Congress had stopped this in Parliament," Gandhi said.
Attacking Modi over demonetisation and the goods and services tax, Gandhi said "nationalist Narendra Modi" had hurt the Indian economy.
"He (Modi) made you stand in long queues. Did you see Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya in those lines?" Gandhi asked.
"Modi resorted to note ban, Gabbar Singh tax and sealing because he wants to finish shopkeepers, small and medium-scale businessmen. He's an agent of 15-20 big industrialists in the country. He stole from you," the Congress chief alleged.
Mocking the NDA government's flagship programmes, Gandhi said: "Modi started Make in India, Startup India, Standup India, sit down India, still unemployment is at a 45-year high."
On the Rafale fighter jet issue, Gandhi alleged that the prime minister carried out theft in broad daylight and put Rs 30,000 crore into the pocket of industrialist Anil Ambani, a charge rejected by the Centre and Ambani.
The Congress leader said Modi reads from a teleprompter, adding that it was due to "fear" instilled by Congress workers.
"The Congress has made mistakes. I accept it and I am not afraid of saying it. Mistakes happen, but our intentions are clean. We do what we say. In Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, I said I will waive farm loans in 10 days.
"I didn't make false promises of depositing Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts or creating 2 crore jobs per year. I said 3.60-lakh crore in five years. I won't say, 'I will give you Rs 15 lakh'. Kill me but I won't say it," Gandhi said.
On the other hand, Gandhi alleged, Modi and Kejriwal had been making false promises one after another.
Gandhi said after coming to power, the Congress would implement Nyay, saying the minimum income scheme would increase the spending capacity of people and give a boost to the economy.
He also promised to fill up 22 lakh government job vacancies, one of the main poll plank of the party.
Gandhi said if the Congress came to power, five GST slabs, which "benefited" Anil Ambani, Vijay Mallya, and Mehul Choksi, would be subsumed into one simple tax slab.
Gandhi reiterated the Congress' manifesto promise of a separate budget for farmers, making loan default by peasants a civil offence and extending all help to the youth to start their own business ventures without permission for the first three years.
The Congress, the BJP and the AAP are locked in a three-cornered contest in Delhi.
On Wednesday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also held roadshows in support of her party's East Delhi and South Delhi candidates, Sheila Dikshit and Vijender Singh, respectively.