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'PM Is Shaken Up': Rahul Gandhi Responds to Modi's Remarks on Congress Manifesto

'You must have seen that the PM has panicked. Bilkul hil gaye hain … It is a revolutionary manifesto'.
Rahul Gandhi on April 24. Photo: X/@RahulGandhi.

New Delhi: Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of promising to distribute the wealth of the country to Muslims, party leader Rahul Gandhi has taken a jibe at the prime minister by saying that he has panicked on seeing Congress’s “revolutionary” election manifesto.

“PM Modi bilkul hil gaye hain [PM Modi is absolutely shaken up],” said Gandhi while addressing party workers in New Delhi on April 23.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

Asking his party colleagues assembled at the Samajik Nyay Sammelan, organised by Samruddha Bharat Foundation, if they liked the Congress’ manifesto, he said, “You must have seen that the PM has panicked. Bilkul hil gaye hain … It is a revolutionary manifesto.”

Gandhi’s remark was received with a round of laughter and ‘Rahul Gandhi zindabad’ slogans.

The Congress leader said the party’s manifesto was asking to distributing only “a small part” of the benefits given to big business houses to the 90% of the country’s population. However, Modi, while seeking votes in the tribal-dominated Bhanswada area of Rajasthan, claimed that Congress would not only take away the land but even the small savings and mangalsutras of “our mothers and sisters” (read the Hindu population) to distribute it to the Muslims.

In the 28-minute speech, Gandhi also said that as stated in the manifesto, his party, if elected, would conduct a caste census across the country. He said it is “not just a political issue” for but also his “life’s mission” to ensure that 90% of underprivileged people get justice at a time when those who call themselves desh-bhakts (patriots) are scared of an “X-ray” of the country through a caste census.

Also read: Congress’s Push for Caste Census Is a Step Towards Ideological Unity in Opposition Ranks

“Modi used to tell everyone for the past 10 years that he was an OBC [a member of the Other Backward Classes communities]. But the moment I started talking about caste census, the Prime Minister says there is no caste.”

Gandhi then asked, “If there was no caste, then how would you say you are an OBC?”

“Then he [the prime minister] says there are only two castes – rich and poor. If you say so, then count the poor and you will see 90% of them are Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs. You won’t find them among the rich. This is not a political issue for me. This is my life’s mission. There is a difference between political issues and life’s missions. In politics there could be compromises but not in life’s missions.”

Promising to conduct a caste census if elected, Gandhi also underlined that there are very few people from the OBC, Dalits and Adivasis are employed in certain key sectors including the judiciary, media and private hospitals.

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