Mudhol (Karnataka): Mocking at Narendra Modi for claiming to be a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) than the Prime Minister of the country, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday wondered how the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud could happen under his NDA government.
“Modi says he is the country’s ‘chowkidar’ and not the Prime Minister. He also says he is a ‘sevak’ (servant) of the people. Then, he should explain how a diamond trader (Nirav Modi) could siphon off Rs 22,000 crore from a public sector bank without his knowledge,” Gandhi said at a public rally here in Karnataka’s Bagalkot district.
Gandhi, on a three-day visit to the southern state since Saturday for the second time this month as part of the Jan Ashirwada Yatra, told the gathering that Modi had betrayed the people by making them stand in long queues at banks for days to draw cash after the November 8 demonetisation in 2016 while a business tycoon was allowed to flee the country after looting a bank.
Quoting the state’s 12th century social reformer Basavanna that ‘do what you say and show what you have done’, Gandhi said that though Modi too invokes Basavanna and bows before his portrait, he failed to keep the promises he made to the people when he got elected as the Prime Minister in 2014.
“Modi vowed deposits of Rs 15 lakh in each bank account by bringing back black money stashed abroad. I want to know if any one of you got the money so far. Raise your hands if you have,” the Congress chief said to which his audience shrugged and chorused a loud ‘no’.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister on his claims to fight corruption and eliminating black money, Gandhi said Modi talks tall with a person who was the state Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chief Minister (B.S. Yeddyurappa) who went to jail in a graft case.
“Modi is also silent on BJP’s President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah who converted Rs 50,000 investment into Rs 80 crore in business within three years. How is it possible? He banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to fight black money. How much of black money has been seized?” Gandhi said in his 40-minute speech, which was translated in Kannada for the audience.
Recalling that Modi promised to create two crore jobs for the youth ahead of his party’s return to power in 2014, Gandhi asked the people how many of them got jobs from the central government, which launched Made in India, Digital India, Start-up India and Stand-up India initiatives.
“Where are the jobs Modi promised to create? What is being made in India when everything from watches to shirts to shoes you buy are ‘Made in China’. In fact, the Congress government in Karnataka created 50,000 jobs when the National Democratic Alliance government could not provide even one lakh jobs across the country,” he said.