Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the BJP and RSS of spreading hatred and violence everywhere in the country, as he also targeted the saffron party governments at both the Centre and state on a host of issues.
He was addressing the gathering at Yeragera at the end of the 44th day of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which began in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday morning.
“If we see this country and the region today, BJP and RSS have spread hatred and violence everywhere. This country is not the country of hatred and violence and they won’t benefit this country in any way,” Gandhi said.
Thanking the people for giving strength and support for the “Bharat Jodo Yatra’, he said, “You have given power for unifying India, stood against hatred and violence. You have protected the Indian flag and taken it up much higher, from the people who are attacking it by spreading hatred and violence in the country.”
The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ has re-entered Karnataka after three days in neighboring Andhra Pradesh. The ‘Yatra’, that entered the state near Gillesuguru on Raichur border, will march through the rural and urban segments of the district, before entering neighbouring Telangana on the morning of October 23.
Noting that walking a total distance of about 3,500 km is not easy, Gandhi said that the support, strength and love of people has made it a bit easy for him. “It is you, who are pushing me ahead,” he said.
He said the ‘Yatra’ is being taken out for three reasons — to unite the country and eradicate hatred, to tell BJP and Narendra Modi-led government that they should fulfill their promise of creating two crore jobs for youth every year, and against price rise.
Pointing out that during the 7-8 hours long walk every day as part of this ‘Yatra’, he and his party leaders listen to farmers, labourers, youth and women, Gandhi said they share their concerns and difficulties.
Speaking about the tax/GST on fertilisers, tractors, pesticides and diesel, he said farmers say that they are able to save only a meagre amount of money.
“Farmers, especially cotton farmers, shared their plight due to crop destruction because of rains. They also said that the BJP government hasn’t done anything for them. This is the plight of Karnataka’s farmers,” he added.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of imposing demonetisation and “wrong GST” on the country, the Wayanad MP said small and medium traders and industries “are all finished because of it”.
Stating that India is unable to provide jobs to its educated youth today and that he has met hundreds of them during the ‘Yatra’, he said, “The world’s second richest man is from India. India’s Prime Minister has given him the country’s infrastructure completely like airports, ports, agri business, road work, and is now giving him telecom sector too.”
“In India on one side, there are the world’s richest people, while on the other there are the world’s most unemployed,” he remarked.
Questioning as to where the pockets of these rich are getting money, he further said, “Whose money is this? It belongs to India’s farmers, labourers and you (the common people).”
Alleging that the BJP government in Karnataka has broken all records of corruption with 40 per cent commission on everything, Gandhi said, “Even to make pakodas, 40 per cent commission has to be given… Sub-inspector’s job is available for Rs 80 lakh.”
Further, claiming credit on behalf of Congress for implementing Article 371J, which grants special status to six backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region, while pointing out that BJP had refused to do it, he highlighted the education, employment and infrastructure-related benefits that the region has gained because of the provision.