Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said “acche din” have come only for Modi and few businessmen close to him.
Addressing a public meeting at Wadial village near here, he said Modi has five to six businessmen friends and the entire country was being run for them.
“It is a government of selected people. It is a government of suit-boot and selected industrialists,” said Gandhi after winding up 15-km long padyatra in Adilabad district to console families of farmers who committed suicide due to financial distress.
“Acche din” have not come for people but for Modi, who is visiting different countries, he quipped.
In another dig at Modi, he asked the crowd: “Is there anybody among you who wears a Rs.10 lakh suit.”
“Modiji wears it,” he added.
“One year has passed. Did anybody among you get a job which Modiji at centre and mini-Modi in Telangana (Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao) had promised,” he asked.
The Congress vice chief claimed that wherever goes, people tell him that they committed a mistake by voting for the National Democratic Alliance. He said both the NDA and the Telanagana Rashtra Samithi respectively had promised that they will change India and Telangana but forgot farmers who can bring the real change.
Hitting out at the NDA government for proposed amendment to land acquisition law, the Congress leader said the government want to snatch the lands of farmers and give them to few industrialists who are close to Modi.
He said the central and state governments have thousands of acres of land with them and pointed out that 40 percent of lands in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) created by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is lying unused. Gandhi also cited Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s admission that only eight percent of the projects are stalled for want of land.
“They want to snatch your land because land is gold. The price of land in coming years will increase manifold and this will benefit you and your children,” he told farmers.
Gandhi, however, clarified that his Congress party is not against development. “Industries should come. There should be partnership between industries, farmers and labourers. We are against crony capitalism. Crony capitalism means give everything to two to three industrialists,” he said.
Stating that the NDA government is trying to pass the land bill in a hurry, he alleged that this will give powers to the government to take farmers’ lands without their consent, which was made mandatory by the UPA government.
Gandhi said the government was also trying to do away with existing provision for returning lands to farmers if projects don’t come up in five years and also the provision for social audit on the impact of land acquisition on farmers.
Hitting back at NDA and TRS for criticising him for meeting families of farmers who committed suicide, he said if Modi and Chandrasekhar Rao had visited them, there was no need for him to do so.
The Congress leader also took a dig at them for not bothering to visit farmers who lost crops in unseasonal rains.
Gandhi, who consoled five families and gave cheques of Rs.2 lakh each, said the Congress, while in power, always came to the rescue of farmers in times of natural calamities or to solve other problems.
He recalled that the UPA government waived Rs.70,000 crore of farm loans, and also provided Rs.8 lakh crore bank loans to farmers in 10 years, thus increasing the agriculture credit by 700 percent.
Congress’ state unit president Uttam Kumar Reddy said 700 farmers committed suicide in the state during 11 months.
Former union minister S. Jaipal Reddy, and senior leaders K. Jana Reddy, Mohammed Ali Shabbir, V. Hanumanth Rao, and Mallu Batti Vikramarka also spoke at the meeting.