Millennium Post

Modi govt crushing the poor and weak: Rahul

Linking the Rohith Vemula and Kanhaiya Kumar issues with the rights of the marginalised, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the Narendra Modi government of “crushing” the weak and the poor who demand their rights.

He said Union ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were free to carry out personalised attacks against him, but they should not “crush the poor and the weak for whom I speak”. 

“Tribals from Bastar met me today. They said they are facing atrocities in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar and that they are being threatened and crushed. The country will not benefit by beating and threatening people. You pressurised Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, here you are pressurising Kanhaiya and our students,” the Congress vice-president said.

He alleged that wherever the poor is seeking rights, “be it farmer, Dalit, tribal or a small trader – small traders came to me – wherever a weak person is raising voice, the NDA government, the Modi government is trying to crush it”. 

These people are the strength of India and no one will benefit by crushing them, he said. “If you have to take action, do it. Those who break law, take action. But crushing, threatening and beating the poor won’t help the country,” Gandhi said.

In an apparent reference to Modi’s remarks in the Lok Sabha that “some people age but do not mature”, Gandhi said the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues are free to attack him. “Modi attacked me personally. His party colleagues are attacking me personally on a daily basis,” he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently took a dig at the Congress vice-president in his Lok Sabha speech and said, “The more I hear Rahul Gandhi, the more I start wondering how much does he know when will he know.”

“As one evolves from a young to a middle-aged one, we certainly expect a certain level of maturity,” Jaitley had said in a Facebook post, reacting to Gandhi’s remarks that the PM does not consult his senior ministers on policy issues.

“Do as much personal attacks as you want. But don’t crush the poor, the weak for whom I speak. Hit me as much you want. Attack me as much you want. Speak for as long as you want to, but don’t hit the poor people of the country,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, seeking to take the sting out of PM Modi’s attack, Congress has said “theatrics” in Parliament might be good entertainment for his supporters, but reminded him “it is his job to deliver”. “It is time to get real. Theatrics in Parliament may be good entertainment for his supporters. But pulses are still selling at more than double the price when he took office. It is his job to deliver, and ours to ask questions,” the AICC said.
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