Congress Rally in Doon
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 16 Dec: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today reached Dehradun to address a rally at the Parade Ground. Addressing a rather impressive gathering, the Congress leader, who is de-facto Congress President, launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also compared the sacrifices of Uttarakhandi people with the sacrifices of his family members. He also tried to connect with the people of Dehradun by recalling the time when he studied at The Doon School as a child and claimed he was showered with love during his stay of two to three years by the Doonites.
His attack against Modi contained nothing new as he repeated mostly the same charges that he has been levelling against the PM for a long time. He again claimed that the present government is only promoting two or three capitalists but, for a change, he began his speech by paying tribute to the late General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff, who died in a crash on 8 December. He paid floral tribute before the photo of General Rawat displayed on stage. After this, he also felicitated ex-servicemen by with presentation of mementos.
Gandhi said that, perhaps, there was a deep relation between his family and Uttarakhand. He claimed that coming here, today, he remembered the day when his grandmother (Indira Gandhi) sacrificed her life for the country on 31 October. And then he remembered the day of 21 May, when his father (Rajiv Gandhi) sacrificed his life for the nation. He claimed that there was a relationship of sacrifice between the people of Uttarakhand and his family. Thousands of families had sacrificed their members in Uttarakhand for the country and his (Rahul Gandhi’s) family also did so in the same manner. Only those who had lost their loved ones would understand this relationship well, he claimed. Those who were in the Army would understand this deeply.
Rahul Gandhi said that today the country was being divided and weakened. One brother was being made to fight the other brother. The whole government is being run for the benefit of two or three capitalists. He claimed that black laws were made against the farmers to eliminate them, not to help them. The income of the farmers of India was being snatched from them. The farmers, however, didn’t get scared and didn’t back down. After which, a year later, the Prime Minister was forced to say with folded hands that a mistake had been made and apologise to the farmers. Gandhi further claimed that about 700 farmers had sacrificed their lives in the agitation but the BJP leaders in Parliament claimed that no one had died. The Punjab government gave compensation to 400 farmers, but the Union Government did not.
Gandhi claimed that first demonetisation was carried out and then GST was brought to add to the blunders. He also claimed that the government had waived taxes due from India’s biggest industrialists at the time of Corona, but could not give free bus or train tickets to migrant labourers. Small businessmen and farmers were targeted, while top industrialists were benefitted. He said that small traders had been finished off by the Modi Government, who was running the policies only to suit certain capitalists. He said that unless the BJP is removed from power at the Centre, there could be no employment generation in the country. BJP was destroying the economic power of the country. He warned the people not to be misled into thinking that India was getting stronger. Tanks, fighter planes and guns did not strengthen any country, he claimed, and went on to say that the country could become strong only when the citizens became strong and could speak without fear. The country was strong at the time of the Bangladesh war, he claimed. There was a strong relationship between the army and the government. The Indian economy was strong. That’s why India defeated Pakistan in 13 days. That was not the case at present, no matter what the media claims. Airplanes and tanks do not make the country strong.
He said that he would never forget the day when he was told in school that Indira Gandhi had been hit by 32 bullets, but her name was not even mentioned at the Vijay Diwas programme held in Delhi, today, because the Modi government was afraid of the truth.
Gandhi said that unemployment and inflation were the biggest problems at present. Inflation was high despite the oil prices falling in the rest of the world as India continued to levy highest taxes on oil. Narendra Modi had waived the loans of crorepatis by snatching Rs 10 lakh crores from the people, he claimed. The money that was coming out of people’s pockets was going into the pockets of a few billionaires of the country because they were marketing Narendra Modi.
Attacking Prime Minister Modi, Rahul Gandhi said that many people have bathed in the Ganga, but it was projected as if in India only one person had taken a bath in it. Even CM Yogi Adityanath was not given permission to bathe with Modi, he alleged. It was as if Modi was the only Indian who could bathe in the Ganga, he added.
The Congress leader claimed that employment would be generated in Uttarakhand only when small traders would receive help. Uttarakhand could not make progress by helping just two or three capitalists. He promised that when Congress would come to power, it would help the farmers, would provide employment and would make pro-farmer laws.
Earlier, during the rally, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat said that Mahavir Chakra winner Diwan Singh’s son and Martyr Major Chitresh Bisht’s father were also on stage. Indira Gandhi’s challenge forced the US fleet to leave the Bay of Bengal. In the Kedarnath disaster, Rahul Gandhi was the only national leader who came to wipe the tears of the disaster affected people. When he (Harish Rawat) became the CM, Rahul had said that he was just handing over the responsibility to him (Rawat) so that the wounds of Kedarnath disaster could be healed. He added that Congress fought with the Teerth Purohits against the Devasthanam Board and they were grateful to Congress for their victory and that they had come to thank the party.
Rawat said that he wished to remind the women of the state that, in 2014, his government started a new era of women empowerment, which was stopped by the people who came to power later. Congress would run a government for the poor and the weak.
Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, Qazi Nizamuddin, Govind Singh Kunjwal also addressed the rally.