Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having 'insulted' the soldiers with his comment that nobody had intruded into Indian territory in Ladakh, and also alleged that his government did not help the migrant workers from Bihar during the lockdown.
Addressing his first poll rallies in the state, Gandhi said the BJP's election promise of providing 19 lakh jobs is akin to its pledge of depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of the people.
Raising the China issues at his both rallies -- the first at Hisua in Nawada district and another at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur -- he said the Chinese army had indeed intruded into the Indian territory, and the prime minister should tell the country when they will 'be thrown out'.
“They have seized 1,200 sq km of our land. But when the Chinese army intruded, why did our prime minister insult our soldiers by saying that nobody entered into the Indian side?” Gandhi said.
“You ask any Army jawan, he will tell you that today the Chinese army is standing in the area which we use to patrol earlier. Our land has been snatched away from us,” he claimed.
“The question is, Modi ji, when will you throw out the Chinese soldiers sitting in our territory?” he asked.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister also addressed his first election rally in Bihar and referred to the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese troops, stating that the sons of Bihar laid down their lives for the tricolour but did not let 'Mother India bow her head'.
Upping the ante, Gandhi said that the prime minister who calls himself a nationalist and a patriot has weakened the country over the last six years.
“Hindustan is weak today. Its economy is suppressed, farmers oppressed and small shopkeepers restless. That is why China has intruded into Indian territory,” he said.
At his rally in Hisua, where the Congress's Neetu Singh is contesting against sitting BJP MLA Anil Singh, Gandhi was joined by RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan's chief ministerial face Tejashwi Yadav.
The Congress leader also hit out at the Centre over the recent farm laws, saying that these have been brought to attack the farmers.
“They had ended the mandi system and the MSP regime in Bihar already and now, they are doing that across the country,” Gandhi said.
He also accused the prime minister of working for large corporates.
“You say that you bow before the Army, the farmers, the labourers and small businesses, but when you go home you work for the Adanis and the Ambanis,” he said.
He also alleged the government did not help migrant workers from Bihar during the lockdown.
Labourers of Bihar left for their native state & walked thousands of kilometres without food & water. Did PM help you? Did he say that he didn't think & ended up making a mistake? Did he offer buses, trucks, trains to go back home? No: Rahul Gandhi, in Bhagalpur #BiharElections pic.twitter.com/RQLVOuQ0g6
— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2020
“Workers from Bihar were chased away from Delhi and other states. They travelled on foot. When you were walking hungry and thirsty, did Modi help you? Did he help workers of Bihar?” Gandhi asked.
“When you were dying of starvation and walking thousands of kilometers, Modi didn't offer you trains or buses,” he alleged.
He also demanded that the prime minister tell Biharis how many jobs he gave them and when.
“The BJP promising 19 lakh jobs in Bihar is akin to its pledge of depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of people,” he said.
In its manifesto for the Bihar polls, the BJP has promised that it would provide 19 lakh jobs to the people in Bihar over five years.
“You had promised two crore jobs before the last election. Did you fulfil that promise? No,” Gandhi claimed.
He said the policies of the governments at the Centre and the state have broken the backbone of farmers, and medium and small businesses who used to create jobs.
“The country and the state can no longer provide employment to its youth. This is the truth of our country now. Narendra Modi ji and Nitish ji have broken the backbone of farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers,” he said.
The Congress has fielded Shubhanand Mukesh, son of sitting MLA Sadanand Singh, from Kahalgaon seat against Pawan Yadav of the BJP.
At the Hisua rally, where Tejashwi Yadav also spoke, a huge gathering was seen.
For how long will the PM keep Bihar from the Special State status category. Bihar had hopes that he would speak about that. BJP talks about generating 19 lakh jobs depending on private enterprise. We will directly give 10 lakh govt jobs: Tejashwi Yadav, RJD pic.twitter.com/rf4m88rcCB
— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2020
Tejashwi attacked the state government over several issues, and also said his father and party supremo Lalu Prasad will come out of jail on November 9 after securing bail in a fodder scam case, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will have his farewell the next day.
“This fight is not between Nitish and Tejashwi, neither is it between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. It is a fight between the people and a dictatorial government,” he said.
As he ended his two rallies, Gandhi tweeted, “Whenever I go to Bihar, I get peoples affection and respect.
But today, I witnessed another resolve among the people -- a resolve for change. This resolve is imperative for getting rid of misrule.”