Undaunted by his opponents’ criticism of him as lacking wisdom, Congress president Rahul Gandhi continued his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and alleged the PM’s intentions were not clean and failed to address real issues facing the nation.
Instead of focussing on real issues such as farmers suicide, unemployment, education and health, Modi was busy helping his industrialist friends, doing yoga and making people fight among themselves, Gandhi said speaking in Nanded.
"Prime minister Narendra Modi is giving away thousands of crores of bank money to Nirav Modi and his other friends... How many jobs did Nirav Modi create after taking Rs 35,000 crore from the banks?," Gandhi asked.
Gandhi visited Nanded village in Chandrapur district in Vidarbha region on Wednesday and met the kin of late Dadaji Khobragade, the rural inventor who revolutionised rice farming. He apologised for the nation's "apathy" towards Khobragade’s achievements.
"Had Dadaji Khobragade been given just Rs 5 crore, he would have generated 5,000 jobs. The one who has the knowledge, who works hard everyday is not supported by the government... just showering awards does not help," he said, speaking at an interactive session with the local residents there.
Khobragade had invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy, but died "largely forgotten and in penury", Gandhi alleged. The 78-year-old died earlier this month after a prolonged illness in Gadchiroli district.
Gandhi said the bank money should have been directed towards farmers, small businesses and researchers, which would generate more employment opportunities.
"Modi is channelising the bank money to waive loans of 15 to 20 industrialists and filling their pockets. Nirav Modi ran away with Rs 35,000 crore...This is the amount which the UPA government had put in MNEREGA. The PM did not fulfil any of his promises because his intentions are not clean," he said.
The youth in the country are feeling cheated as Modi failed to fulfil his promise of two crore jobs.
"Today, the main issues before the country are employment, agriculture, education and health. But if you look Modi, his focus is yoga, Swachh Bharat and making people fight among themselves, and not the major issues," Gandhi alleged.
"The leader of the country has to show the way to its people and instill a sense of trust in them...The PM or a CM can do a lot for the people if their intentions are clean," he said.
Replying to a query on farmers suicides, Gandhi said, "I want to help the people who have been long forgotten. Today, our farmers are in pain and frightened.
"We want to instill hope in them by addressing the farm loan issues and by building farm-to-market infrastructure facilities like cold storages, roadways and giving bank support," he added.
Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot, senior leader Mohan Prakash, party's Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil accompanied Gandhi during the visit.
"Rahulji enquired about the various rice varieties he has developed. Rahulji was also keen to know how did their father (Khobragade) become so successful in developing so many varieties of paddy," Chavan told PTI.
The issue of patenting the rice varieties was also discussed at the meeting with his family members, he said.
"Dadaji Khobragade developed 11 varieties of rice. However, none of them have been patented. The Congress has decided to follow up this issue with the state government and the Centre," Chavan said.
Gandhi had a 20-minute meeting with Khobragade's family members, he said.
Cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh by the Congress and Rs 5 lakh by Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was handed over to the kin of Khobragade.
(With inputs from PTI)