Rahul attacks govt on JNU row, Pak, black money
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government over the “fair and lovely” scheme on black money and the raging trouble in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Hyderabad University.
In acerbic remarks on Modi’s style of functioning, he accused the PM of not listening to anyone’s opinion, including that of his ministers and MPs.
“You have been taught by your teachers in the RSS that there is one truth in the universe – your own and nobody else’s opinion matters,” he told the treasury benches, while speaking on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha.
“The Prime Minister cannot run the country with his opinion alone. The country is not PM and PM is not the country,” he said in a 40-minute speech, during which Modi was absent.
Attacking the scheme on black money announced in the Budget on Monday, Gandhi said: “Nobody who has black money will be jailed under Modi’s ‘Fair and Lovely’ scheme. All those who have blackmoney can make it white under this scheme.”
Recalling Modi’s promise of putting people with black money behind bars, the Congress scion said the government had instead come up with a way to help such people.
He was referring to the one-time four-month compliance window announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, under which people with domestic black money can come clean by paying 45 per cent tax and penalty and get immunity from prosecution.
Gandhi was sharply critical of the government over the turmoil in JNU and maintained that student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been charged with sedition, had not uttered a word against the law but was behind bars, while the “real culprits” were roaming free.
Questioning Modi’s silence over the JNU episode, Gandhi said he did not utter a word when teachers and the media were attacked in the Patiala House Court in the national Capital when Kumar was brought there for a hearing.
“Which religion teaches to assault teachers,” he asked. Gandhi said that 60 per cent of students in JNU are Dalits, minorities and OBCs. Forty per cent of them came from a poor background. Why are you after JNU? Because Dalits and adivasis study there and you don’t want them to grow. But we will not let this happen. We cannot crush the JNU,” he asserted, while being interrupted by NDA members.
Referring to the suicide of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in the Hyderabad Central University, Gandhi said the PM had not bothered to call his mother.
He also attacked Modi’s Pakistan policy and accused him of releasing that country from a “small cage”, in which the UPA government had put it through its diplomacy by suddenly visiting Lahore to have tea with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharief.
“The work done by the UPA has made us all proud. We conducted Panchayat elections, created self-help groups, which generated employment. We had broken the back of insurgency in Kashmir completely. And what did the Prime Minister do? He decided to have a cup of tea with Nawaz Sharif without any vision. He decided to take a detour to Pakistan. Just like the Naga Accord. He did not bother to consult anyone...the people in intelligence, the diplomats,” Gandhi said.
“Perhaps he did not even talk to (External Affairs Minister) Sushmaji (Swaraj). Only his opinion matters. He single-handedly destroyed the six years of work done by the UPA,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi said the Prime Minister should reach out to the Opposition for the greater good of the country. “Listen to us. We are not your enemy, we do not hate you,” Gandhi told the Prime Minister.