07 May 2019
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi disrespected his mentor L.K. Advani as he removed him from the BJP's centre-stage, indicating that Modi "does not respect anyone but himself".
Addressing a public rally in Sadar under the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat during campaigning for party candidate J.P. Agarwal, Gandhi said being a Congressmen, he has only "love for Modi" despite the Prime Minister having insulted his father Rajiv Gandhi.
In a dramatic fashion, he asked the crowd: "Who fought with the Chowkidar (Modi)?" The crowd cheered his name, but Gandhi rejected it, saying: "Not Rahul Gandhi but workers of the Congress party. You all give me strength. I am your voice. I am not Modi... the 'Chowkidar' insulted his guru (mentor). He disrespected and thrown his mentor Advani out from the centre-stage."
The BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls has taken off Advani from the Gandhinagar seat, which the veteran BJP leader contested since 1991, and fielded Amit Shah, the party president.
Gandi said that Modi insulted everyone -- from youths to farmers. "Respect is part of our culture and Modi does not respect anyone but Modi himself."
The Congress President said Modi spoke about and insulted his father in a political rally.
"He is a PM, but insulted a martyr. I am a congressman, a Congress leader. The more you hate me, the more would I love you," he said.
At a rally in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Modi had targeted the former prime minister while attacking the Congress President.
At a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh on Saturday, Modi referred to Rajiv Gandhi, calling him "bhrashtachari No.1" (Corrupt No.1).
Countering it, Rahul said: "My hug (to you) in Parliament will bring defeat for you. We, the Congress people and all the religions, say that hatred can never be overcome with hate, only love can end hate. I understand the restlessness in your (Modi's) heart. I can't do anything about your fear. Your hate is not hate, but fear. I only have love for you in my heart."
Gandhi said the present mood across the nation is clearly pro-Congress. "Wherever I go, the people want the Congress back in power."
He said the media is scared and is writing with hesitation. "The 'Chowkidar' has disturbed them (media) too. They are saying Congress will give them freedom from the Chowkidar. They will celebrate most on May 23," he said with a smile.
The Congress President said wherever Modi goes, it was always his 'Mann Ki baat', but the people now want a government that should talk about their 'mann ki baat' .
Rahul Gandhi said he considered Delhi important, as the voice of Delhi is the voice of the country.
He said Modi came with full energy five years ago. He promised jobs, Rs 15 lakh cash, and other things.
"Is he speaking any of these things now? Modi is not talking about any of his promises even by mistake."
He attacked Modi for promising two crore jobs and a better life for traders.
"You (Modi) brought GST and demonetisation. Go to any trader, farmer, youth or even a 12-year-old child, ask if the country was benefited with these acts, all of them would talk about only loss."
On BJP's complaint, he said the Election Commission had told him that he cannot say the "watchman is a thief". "I only say 'Chowkidar' and the people shout 'chor hai'. I want to ask the EC if Modi can call himself a Chowkidar, why can't Rahul?."
He also spoke about his party's Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) -- a financial scheme for the poor -- by which Rs 72,000 would be deposited in bank accounts of 5 crore people of the country in one year.
He said Modi spoke about Make in India, but the youths were harassed as they were forced to run from one department to another.
"Delhi is a hub of entrepreneurs where the youth, mainly, wish to do two things: business or a government job. For a business, you need permission from various departments. The Congress has decided that youths will not have to run around to open a business."
He said he cannot make fake promises of giving two crore jobs, "but in one year, the Congress will fill vacancies in 22 lakh seats in various government departments.
Delhi's seven constituencies will go to the polls on May 12, with a triangular contest between BJP, AAP and Congress. While the AAP rules the city, the BJP bagged all the seven Lok Sabah seats in the 2014 elections.