Rahul Gandhi, addressing a rally in Vallabhnagar, Rajasthan, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of working tirelessly for industrialist Gautam Adani, claiming a close association between them. He alleged that while Modi diverts attention with speeches about poverty, Adani benefits from economic policies.
Gandhi reiterated Congress's commitment to conduct a caste-based census if the party comes to power. The census was announced earlier on Tuesday by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in Jaipur. Gandhi emphasised that this survey is crucial for understanding the country's social dynamics and protecting the rights of underprivileged communities.
Gandhi stated, "Earlier, he used to say that 'I belong to OBC'. Since the day I talked about caste census, the PM changed his speech and started saying that there is only one caste- that is poor. But he forgot to mention the other caste- the caste of billionaires. Adani and Ambani belong to another caste. They want all the money to be given to a handful of billionaires. Modi's job is to divert people's attention while Adani picks pockets, they are a team,"
The Congress leader criticised the BJP's approach, asserting that the party spreads hatred to distract people from issues like unemployment and inflation. According to Gandhi, the BJP aims to favour billionaires at the expense of the poor, labourers, farmers, tribals, and Dalits.
"The question is, why is BJP spreading hatred in the country? I want to tell you two things, the reason for hatred is unemployment and inflation. The system of the BJP is taking away your attention from unemployment and inflation to hatred. The target of BJP and RSS is that the poor, labourers, farmers, tribals and Dalits be kept away from money. They want all the money to be given to a handful of billionaires," the Congress leader asserted.
Gandhi also characterised PM Modi as "Panauti Modi," using a term associated with bringing bad luck. He made this reference in light of India's cricket World Cup final loss against Australia, attended by Modi. Later, the BJP responded by demanding that Rahul Gandhi apologise for that remark.
Vallabhnagar Assembly constituency, where Gandhi spoke, is poised for a triangular contest. The Congress' Preeti Gajendra Shekhawat, BJP's Udaylal Dangi, and Deepinder Kunwar are key contenders. Vallabhnagar assembly constituency has a total of 245,761 voters, according to the Election Commission's data in 2018.
Congress has won nine of the 16 Assembly elections in the Vallabhnagar Assembly constituency since 1952. The Congress leader continued his campaign in Baytoo, Balotra, alleging that Modi favoured big industrialists by waiving loans and providing advantages.
Rajasthan state Assembly polls will be held on Saturday, November 25, and the counting of votes will be done on December 3.
(With agency inputs)