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Rahul castigates PM Modi for not being in House during debate on Rafale

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not being present in the Lok Sabha when the House was debating the Rafale deal.

"The Prime Minister could not come to the Lok Sabha even for a short while. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke in the House for two and a half hours but we exposed each and every lie of the government. We even put up some to-the-point questions for her to reply, but she had no answer to our direct questions," he added.

Gandhi, while addressing the 'Kisan Rally' here, said: "CBI Director Alok Verma was removed at midnight. The Supreme Court got him reinstated. We want an inquiry in Rafale deal. We also want a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). This 56-inch chest Prime Minister Modi could not even come to the Lok Sabha for one minute."

Talking about farmers and their issues, Rahul said: "The Prime Minister did not waive off the loans for the last four and a half years. We had promised to waive off farmers' loan in 10 days after coming to power, but in Rajasthan, we waived off the farmers' loan within two days."

"The people of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have sent a message to Prime Minister Modi that 'Modi ji you will have to waive off farmers' loans across the country' or the Congress won't spare you and won't let you sleep."

Rahul, however, acknowledged that merely waiving off farmers' loans would not solve the problems, adding that a new strategy and approach is required to tackle the issue.

"In Rajasthan, we will set up food processing units near the fields. Mega food parks and cold chains will also come up in Rajasthan, which will be equipped with the latest technology and will try our best to change the lives of the farmers," he said.

Talking about GST and demonetisation, Gandhi claimed: "Due to GST and demonetisation, small and medium businesses have been destroyed. You stole the nation's money and gave it to Anil Ambani. How much money you gave to the youth, farmers and small and medium businesses?"

Drawing a comparison between Prime Minister Modi's four and a half years' rule, Rahul Gandhi said: "In cricket, there are two ways of playing-back foot and front foot. I want the farmers to play on the front foot and hit the ball for a six. Prime Minister Modi ji has played on the back foot all these years. He promised to give jobs to the youth. But when his turn for batting comes, he plays on the back foot and is afraid to get out. I want to assure the farmers of the country that play on the front foot and do not be scared.