New Delhi: Former Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Modi government of using the judiciary, the Election Commission, and Pegasus spyware as “instruments to destroy the voice of the union of states”.
In a fiery speech in Parliament during the debate on the presidential address, Rahul Gandhi also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the “idea of a king is back”.
There are now two distinct Indias, he said, one for the rich and the other for the poor. “The gap between the two is growing,” he said.
“There are two Indias, one India is for the extremely rich people – for those who have immense wealth, immense power, for those who don’t need a job, those who don’t need water connection, electricity connections, but for those who control the heartbeat of the country. And then another India for the poor. The gap between these two Indias is widening,” he said.
“Poor people can see India’s richest 100 have more wealth than 55 crore people. Prime Minister should start uniting these two Indias at the earliest. You are giving everything to few people who put you on TV, WhatsApp,” he added.
“You keep talking about Made in India, Made in India. Made in India is not possible anymore. You have destroyed ‘Made in India’. You need to support small and medium industries, otherwise ‘Made in India’ is not possible. Small and medium industries are the only ones who can create jobs,” Rahul Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha.
“You keep talking about Made in India, Start-Up India, etc. And joblessness is only increasing. We had taken 27 crore people out of poverty. You have thrown 23 crore people back into poverty.”
He added that his comments should not be taken as criticism but as the voice of a “concerned citizen”.
The Congress MP tore into the government over unemployment and said it was because of “your flawed vision that two Indias are being created.”
He accused the ruling BJP of bringing back the idea of a “king of India” that was “smashed in 1947”.
“You will never ever in your life rule over the people of Tamil Nadu. No matter what fantasies you have, you will never ever rule over the people of a state of India,” he said as he illustrated his point on cooperative federalism, “conversation and negotiation”.
“That is the only way India has been ruled. You can look at Ashoka, Maurya, the country has always been ruled by conversation and negotiation,” he said.
“My great grandfather was jailed for 15 years. My grandmother was shot 32 times. My father was blown to bits. So I know what I am talking about. You are fiddling with something very, very dangerous. I am advising you to stop. If you don’t stop you will create a problem. The problem has already started,” Gandhi said.
He spoke on what he called the idea of a Union of States versus the idea of a king.
“We smashed that idea of a king in 1947. Now the idea of a king has come back. A king, a shahenshah. A ruler of rulers, a master of masters…” he said.
Gandhi also reiterated that only a handful of industrialists are benefiting because of this government.
“One person gets every port in India, every airport, tower, transmission, mining, green energy, gas distribution, edible oil. Everywhere there is (Gautam) Adani ji. The entire wealth of the country is going to a chosen few,” he said.
Gandhi launched a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, accusing him of “bringing China and Pakistan” together and making a “huge strategic mistake” in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a speech laced with sharp attacks on the BJP-government, he said that the country has been surrounded by adversaries on all sides and is isolated in the region. “The nation is at risk from outside and inside. and I don’t like that. This worries me,” he added.
“The strategic goal of India should have been to keep China and Pakistan separate. But what you have done is to bring them together. Do not underestimate what we are facing. This is a serious threat to India,” he said, adding that we made a “huge strategic mistake” in Jammu and Kashmir, possibly referring to the reading down of Article 370 that revoked the special status granted to the state.
The Congress MP also claimed that India didn’t have a guest for Republic Day this year because the country is “completely isolated and surrounded”. “We are surrounded in Nepal, Afghanistan, China,” he said, calling it “the single biggest crime against the people of India”.
“It is very clear that the Chinese and Pakistanis are planning. Look at the weapons they are buying, look at the way they are talking. We have made a massive blunder and I am absolutely sure we can defend against the Chinese,” he said.
Not just external threats, Gandhi also said that the country has been “weakened” and “our institutions are under attack”.