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Congress Will Form Government of Indians, Not Adanis: Rahul Gandhi

author Sanjay K. Jha
Apr 23, 2024
This assertion was aimed at smashing the smokescreen created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to blur the messaging of the Congress's manifesto in his recent speeches.

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi spoke upfront, spelling it out without any ambiguity: “Hum Adaniyon ki nahin, Hindustaniyon ki sarkar banayenge”.

This assertion – that the Congress will form a government of Indians, not Adanis – was aimed at smashing the smokescreen created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to blur the messaging of its manifesto.

While the Congress manifesto clearly articulated its concerns about rising economic inequality, apart from promising policy intervention to address this malaise, the prime minister distorted the facts to create a false impression that the actual plan was to snatch people’s assets and distribute it among Muslims, whom he referred to as “ghuspaithiye” (infiltrators).

The Congress manifesto neither mentions any radical concept of redistribution of wealth nor talks about transferring wealth to Muslims.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

When some commentators referred to the ‘dangerous’ plan for redistribution, Congress leaders emphatically refuted the notion, stating that they only dealt with questions of economic empowerment through job creation, financial support and policy interventions.

Rahul Gandhi today tweeted a video with his Adani-Hindustani message, which shows Modi as saying, “Congress ki sarkar banegi to harek ki property ka survey kiya jayega, aur jo sampatti hai ye sabko samaan roop se vitarit kar dee jayegi [When the Congress forms the government, everybody’s property will be surveyed and the wealth people possess will be distributed equitably]”.

The Congress dismissed this as scaremongering as Rahul was talking about a caste census and financial survey to ascertain the socio-economic realities in order to formulate correct policies.

Modi went so far as to declare that even the “mangalsutra” of married women will not be spared as the Congress planned to snatch it to be given to Muslims.

The Congress saw this distortion as desperation to bring in the Muslim angle and whip up communal passions.

Rahul’s post had another video in which he said, explaining his party’s plan: “Mera lakshya hai jitna paisa Narendra Modi Adani ko deta hai, utna paisa main gareebon ko dunga. Main gin raha hun, ek rupya aap Adani ko doge, ek rupya main gareebon ko dunga. Jitna paisa aap doge utna main gareebon ko dunga, kisano ko, mazdooron ko, chhote vyapariyon ko, berozgar yuvaon ko.

Main aapoko dikha dunga asli rajneeti arabpatiyon ko madad karne se nahin hoti hai. Asli rajneeti kisano, mazdooron, chhote vyapari, berozgar yuvaon ki madad karne se hoti hai. Main apko dikha dunga. Jitna aap gaali doge, mujhe pata lagta hai ye gaali de raha hain, aur acchha kam hoga. Chidh machti hai na, isi liye to gali dete hain

“[My objective is to give as much money to the poor as Modi gives to Adani. I am counting; you give one rupee to Adani and I shall give one rupee to the poor. Whatever money you give to Adani, I shall give to the farmers, workers, small shopkeepers, unemployed youth.

“[I will show you, real politics is not helping the billionaires, real politics is helping farmers, workers, youth, small businesses. Your abuses tell me I am on the right path. You get irritated and hence abuse me].”

Congress leaders insist this is not a redistribution plan but is instead political harangue against crony capitalism and a pro-poor welfare agenda.

This discourse is not a post-manifesto initiative; Rahul has been saying this – that he will give as much money to the poor as Modi gave to Adani – all through his Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Congress leaders find the tendency to link this to “Muslim League imprints” in the Congress manifesto inexplicable.

Though Modi did not mouth such expressions like “ghuspaithiye” or those who produce more children – or Muslims – in his subsequent speeches after the national outcry over his Banswara speech, he hasn’t abandoned the bizarre concept.

He repeated the “snatching plan” yesterday in Aligarh and again today in Rajasthan’s Tonk.

He said today, “The Congress is rattled by my 1.5-minute speech given in Rajasthan two days ago. Mirchi lag gai. I spoke the truth. The Congress has conspired to snatch your property to distribute it to their ‘khas’ (special) people.

“The Congress is extremely angry; the entire ecosystem has become hyperactive. When you have made this policy and Modi has exposed your hidden agenda, why are you shivering? Show the courage to accept it. I am ready to face this challenge.”

It is apparent that Modi either realised his folly by explicitly targeting Muslims or he does not feel the necessity to repeat the key word again and again.

But he is determined to invent a fear among the people that the Congress intended to snatch their wealth.

Rahul Gandhi has been talking about ‘delivering justice’ to over 90% of the population; he has specifically mentioned OBCs (he says they are 50% of the population), Dalits (15%), tribals (8%), minorities (15%) and the poor among upper castes (5%). He has never indicated any plan to snatch their wealth.

Even if a false impression has to be created, it can be said on the basis of his politics and statements that he would target the ultra-rich, who have been unduly favoured by the Modi government.

The Congress has doubtless woven a rich-versus-poor narrative in this election. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also said today:

“Under the Modi government, the gap between the rich and the poor is at a 100-year high, even more than the British Raj.

“In the last ten years, Modi has worked only for two to three of his close friends. All the national resources of the country have been sold to these super-rich crony capitalists, including airports, ports, coal mines, power plants, and PSUs at throwaway prices.

“Modi’s top 22 rich friends hold wealth equal to that of 70 crore Indians. In the first nine years of the Modi government, more than one lakh farmers committed suicide. Every single day at an average of thirty farmers committed suicide.

“For the first time in independent India, taxes were imposed on farmers.”

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