Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday again attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his decision to implement demonetisation and a "flawed" GST, claiming that it broke the economy's backbone by resulting in the closure of many small and medium businesses across the country.
Addressing a public meeting in Geeta Colony for the party's East Delhi candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely, Gandhi said: "There are different types of theft. One is direct theft and another is indirect theft."
"Modiji did direct theft in Rafale deal by giving the contract to an industrialist friend.
"Modiji did indirect theft by the decision of demonetisation and 'Gabbar Singh Tax' as it resulted in closure of several small and medium businesses across the country and also left crores of people unemployed," he said, referring to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
"The economy which is the backbone of our country was broken by these two decisions," he said.
Accusing Modi of having a strategy to shut the small and medium businesses across the country to benefit his 15-20 industrialist friends, he said that once the Congress comes to power, it will simplify GST and the youth and other people would not need any permission for the next three years to start their businesses.
Alleging that the Modi government waived off loans to the tune of Rs 5.55 lakh crore of the industrialists in the last five years, Gandhi said that if his party comes to power, then it will provide Rs 72,000 per annum to 25 crore poor people under its "Nyay" scheme.
"The amount will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of people and it shall again strengthen the economy which got jammed in the last five years due to the decision of GST and demonetisation," he said.
"Modiji talks about patriotism. But the biggest weapon of our country is our economy and that was brought into shambles by this government."
Also hitting out at the Aam Aadmi Party, he said it was his party and not the ruling party in Delhi that could defeat the BJP. In 2014, they gave the slogan "Delhi ka Chief Minister (Arvind) Kejriwal and Desh ka PM Modi" and thus "opened the doors" for Modi, he added.
Admitting the Congress's past mistakes, he said: "I accept that Congress did mistakes from this stage. But what we say from heart, we do that. I promised in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and in Rajasthan that we shall waive off farm loans within 10 days and we did that."
In a jibe at Modi, he said: "I didn't promise that we will give 2 crore jobs and I shall put Rs 15 lakh in your bank accounts."
Accusing Kejriwal "who makes false promises one after another", Gandhi said: "Everyday sealing is being carried out in Delhi and you (Kejriwal) said that you cannot stop it". The Congress had stopped sealing in 2006, he added.
Promising that the Congress will bring a separate budget for the farmers with details of how much minimum support price will be increased, he said that no farmer will be put behind bars if they are unable to pay their farm loans.
Appealing to the voters to vote for the Congress, Gandhi said: "You people have to support us as we are going to open your handcuffs that has been put by the Modi government."
He also slammed the Modi governmet over the highest unemployment rate in last 45 years and said once Congress comes to power, it will fill the 22 lakh government vacancies by 2020.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)