Rahul slams Modi’s Independence Day speech, calls PM arrogant

Congress president compares Indian PM with US leader Trump, says both have failed to provide jobs

London: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “sleeping elephant” remark made during the Independence Day speech, saying he was “arrogant” and had insulted every Indian and his ancestors by belittling contribution of people who worked for country’s progress in the last 70 years.

Addressing an event here on Saturday organised by the Indian Overseas Congress, Gandhi also slammed Modi over the Rafale deal saying he could not answer his questions in parliament on the issue.

Gandhi termed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah a “murder accused”.

He said it will be wrong to say that progress achieved by the country in the last 70 years had been brought by the Congress as people of country had worked for it and the party had only helped the process.

He said those who predicted that India will break were today saying it is the country that will show the future.

“How did this happen. Congress only helped but people of India did it. Congress brought people together, your parents did it, your ancestors did it by working in the fields and when the Prime Minister says that before he came nothing happened in this country, he is not saying this about Congress, he is insulting every Indian, his parents, grand parents. But the media is with him.

“I was sitting during his Independence Day address. He said before the national flag that before he came, India was a sleeping elephant and he woke it up. How much arrogance he has. The Prime Minister of India cannot understand if India has strength, it is not due to an individual, if sweat has been given, it has been given by farmers, small businessmen, industrialists, judges, everybody together,” Gandhi said.

He also said Congress speaks the truth.

Gandhi said Congress was started by NRIs (non-resident Indians) and described Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, B.R. Ambedkar as NRIs.

“They went out, saw the world, thought in a fresh way and then helped the country. You are following their footsteps,” he said.

He compared Modi with US President Donald Trump, saying people voted for them as they were angry due to unemployment and had much expectations from them.

The Congress leader emphasised that unemployed people in their respective countries had a lot of expectations from populist leaders like Trump and Modi, and voted them to power. But, their hopes were later dashed as they were not provided jobs.

At an interaction here on Saturday with Indian Journalists’ Association here, Gandhi said: “The people who support Trump, Modi and other leaders, or more populist leaders, are doing so because they are angry.

“And they are angry because they don’t have a job. Modi, instead of calming this anger and accepting that there is a job problem … he does something unpatriotic, he takes that anger and utilises it for himself and he damages our country,” he added.

Gandhi said neither the Western World or India is able to solve its job crisis for the blue collar part of society.

“That is leading to anger and that is what Modi rides on. The honourable thing to do is to go to his country and accept that there is a problem and said ‘yes you are angry, I am your leader, I am going to bring you together and we are going to solve the problem’,” he said.

“Modi is not going to give you a solution. They (Trump and Modi) have created enormous amount of damage and a new breed of person has to repair this damage and solve their problem,” he added.

Gandhi said if NRIs were asked about their religion, caste when they arrived first at the airport here and told that they will not get anything and cannot serve the country, how they would have felt.

“This is what is happening in India. If you are Dalit, tribal, farmer, poor, you won’t get anything. If you speak more, you will be beaten. India is being changed, its power is being weakened”, he said, adding that institutions such as Supreme Court, Election Commission and RBI are being destroyed.

Gandhi said Modi remained silent when diamond trader Nirav Modi escaped, when Supreme Court judges talked about Judge Loya’s death and when a BJP MLA was accused of rape.

He said “made in China” stuff was flooding the Indian market and he wanted to see local places shine as manufacturing hubs.

Gandhi said loans of industrialists have been waived but Modi was not willing to give farm loan waiver.


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