- Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi inaugurates the Jan Vedna Sammelan in Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium on Wednesday
- He alleges that the note ban was PM Modi’s personal decision
- ‘Achhe Din’ will come only when the Congress returns to power, Gandhi says
- Congress leader P Chidambaram alleges that ministers were kept as prisoners till the note ban announcement
- Slamming the note ban, former prime minister Manmohan Singh says the worst is yet to come
- Rahul Gandhi said that BJP is instilling fear in Indians
- He called the Congress’ ideology one of eradicating fear
- Gandhi concluded by saying Congress will defeat BJP’s ideology
"We Will Defeat Their Ideology"
Taking another dig at Modi, Rahul says that like actor Amitabh Bachchan, the PM delivered a dialogue that went, “Mitron, we will fighting against corruption starting today. Give me your present and I'll give you a shining India in the next 10-15 years”
“He will take the money of the poor and help the rich get richer,” he says. The BJP and the RSS are ruining the future of the nation, he tells a cheering crowd.
But the Congress will defeat and remove them. We will defeat their ideology.
"BJP's Surgical Strike on the Poor"
The party vice-president speaks of Modi’s dream of a cashless economy and the large number of people still queuing outside banks and who have faced the brunt of demonetisation.
Have you seen any corrupt person stand in long lines outside ATMs or banks at 3 or 4 am? Almost 99 percent of the population had a Rs 24,000 cash withdrawal limit. But Janardhana Reddy hosted a Rs 500 crore wedding. Even Nitin Gadkari organised a wedding during the cash crunch.
Non-performing assets totalling around Rs 8 lakh crore were written off by the Modi government in the last two years, he claims, which then led to the Centre launching a “surgical strike” on the middle class, the poor and farmers.
He vows that the Congress will never take a step that would cause such hardship to citizens nor would it take away anyone’s rights.
"Wherever We Go, We Try To Wipe Out Fear"
Targeting Modi government’s initiatives for the country’s farmers, Rahul says that the farmers were told not be be afraid and were promised that their land would not be taken away. They were also promised fair market rates for their land, he says.
But Modi has scared them all. The tribals who have rights to their land, water and forests are shot down. Wherever the BJP goes, they instil fear. But wherever we go, we try to wipe it out.
Speaking about the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army after the terror attack on the Uri Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir, he says that a minister had said, “Today, the army is working like the Israeli army.” He asks if, before the strikes were carried out, “was the Indian army inferior to the Israeli army?”
I say it’s better than the Israeli army and always has been.
BJP Instilled Fear Among the People of India, Says Rahul Gandhi
At the convention, Rahul Gandhi says of the Congress’ party and its symbol”
One day, while looking at Shiva’s picture, I saw the Congress’ symbol. I looked at Guru Nanak’s photo and again the Congress symbol was visible. The same goes for Mahavir, Hazrat Ali and Buddha’s pictures. I asked (Congress leader) Karan Singh what it meant and he responded with ‘Daro mat, sachhayi ka saamna karo' (Don’t be afraid, face the truth).
The philosophy of the Congress party, too, he says is ‘daro mat’. Attacking the BJP, he says it believes in ‘daro aur darao' (be afraid and frighten others).
They’ve instilled fear within the people of this country within the last 2-3 months.
Situation Has Gone From Bad to Worse: Manmohan Singh
Speaking at the event, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says that PM Modi speaks of transforming India’s economy, but “the beginning of the end has come.”
Modi’s propaganda of national income going up in last two years has been proven to be hollow.
Citing rating agencies’ findings after the note ban announcement, he says that the country’s GDP might fall to 6.3 percent – which will lead to a fall in employment rates in the agriculture and service sectors.
The situation has gone from bad to worse in the last few months.
BJP Is the Best Event Manager: Chidambaram
Congress leader P Chidambaram calls the BJP government the “best event manager known to Indian history.” “But, every event lasts for some time only,” he says.
He says that the people are more concerned about jawans instead of the BJP government’s initiatives.
Lashing out at PM Modi for pressurising the society to go cashless, Chidambaram said that individuals have the right to choose between cash or card transactions.
Questioning the involvement of other party leaders and RBI officials in the demonetisation call, he says that the available records do not mention any cabinet meeting regarding the issue.
Where is it? There is no record of a cabinet meeting on 8 November. Ministers were kept prisoners till the PM announced the demonetisation decision.
Hitting out at the BJP’s claims on India’s economic growth via GDP, Chidambaram says that apart from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, “no one in the world says the GDP will not be hit”.
Rahul Is a Part-Time Politician: BJP
Reacting to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s jibe at the Modi-led NDA government, the BJP government said he was “a part time politician who has just arrived from a vacation”.
If he really cared about the people, he wouldn’t have gone for vacation.
Spend Time With the Poor, Rahul To Modi
Mocking Modi’s vision to transform India, the Congress VP said that the PM needs to “spend sometime with the poor, farmers and the labourers of the country”. He needs to “question as to why people are returning to villages,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi said that the ‘Acche Din’ that Modi promised would come only after the Congress party returns to power in 2019.
For the First Time, a PM Is Being Ridiculed
Gandhi says that for the first time in Indian history, the Prime Minister “is being ridiculed all over the world over”.
He alleged that demonetisation was PM Modi’s personal decision and said that the position of the Reserve Bank of India Governor is being mocked.
Rahul Gandhi begins his speech by praising the work of Congress leaders and members over the past 70 years.
I can name state after state where Congress workers and leaders have sacrificed their sweat and blood. We do not need to explain what we did or didn’t do for the last 70 years.
Film on Indira Gandhi Screened
The Jan Vedna convention of the Congress kicked off with the screening of short films on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and demonetisation.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to deliver the inaugural address.
The party will also pass a resolution to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi in November. Rahul Gandhi is also likely to release the 'Haal behal, Jan Vedna ke 2.5 saal' booklet.
Sonia Misses the Convention
Congress President Sonia Gandhi is absent from the Congress convention amid rumours that she is unwell. The party remains tight-lipped over her absence.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, members of the Congress Working Committee, senior party leaders and state leaders are expected to be present at the convention.
There will be discussions. Every member will express views and share ideas. The party will also pay respect to all those who lost their lives due to demonetisation.Party spokesperson
"The Congress will also decide its future course of action with regard to demonetisation and other issues," the spokesperson said.
Will Rahul Gandhi Take Over Congress' Reigns?
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will preside over the Jan Vedna Sammelan in Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium on Wednesday. During the convention, the party hopes to highlight the pain borne by the people in the wake of demonetisation.
“The convention will highlight the pains and sufferings of the people due to the note ban policy of the Modi government. The party will also highlight the anti-people policies of the government,” said Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.
Previously, Gandhi has presided over the party's foundation day function in December. He has chaired a meeting of the party’s Working Committee in the absence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
This is likely to pave the way for Gandhi to take over as the President of the party at the earliest, according to party sources.
(With IANS and PTI inputs)