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AICC leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the PM’s hands shook while trying to explain the electoral bonds fiasco in a recent media interview.

“The electoral bonds are the biggest scam the nation has ever seen…the BJP government used the bonds to extort money off businesses that suddenly found themselves the target of central agencies like the CBI, ED and Income Tax Department,” he said, speaking in a rally in Mandya nine days before the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Gandhi was on his first visit to the state after the poll schedule was announced a month ago. Praising the Congress regime in the state, he said the party had fulfilled all the guarantees it had promised before the assembly polls last year. If the Congress won in the Centre, it would also fulfill its national guarantees, he added.

The BJP uses its power to shield a select group of wealthy businessmen and forgive their bank loan defaults, but does not talk of the issues farmers are facing in the country, Gandhi said. “On my Bharat Jodo Yatra, I have spoken to many farmers across the country. They are all agitated. Farmers are demanding their rights, not freebies from their government,” he added.

Reiterating the Congress’ promises, he said the party’s government would legalise Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers, as well as forgive crop loans and clear their insurance claims within 10 days. “While the BJP did nothing to better the living conditions of farmers, it had waived off loans to the tune of Rs 16 lakh crore of about 25 corporates and industrialists. This is the quantum of money which would have funded the MGNREGA scheme for 24 years,” he added.

The Congress leader shared a dias with party heavyweights like chief minister Siddaramaiah, his deputy DK Shivakumar, as well the party’s candidate from Mandya Venkatarame Gowda, popularly known as ‘Star Chandru.’ Calling Gandhi the party’s “lucky charm,” Shivakumar said the leader was fighting against inflation and unemployment on behalf of the people. “The people of Mandya gave the Congress party 7 of 8 seats last time. I am confident the people will support this time too,” he added.

Gandhi later held a rally in Kolar, which will also go to the polls in nine days, with AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge. The Congress party is facing BJP ally JDS in both the seats – former CM HD Kumaraswamy in Mandya and M Mallesh Babu in Kolar.

  • Published On Apr 18, 2024 at 11:05 AM IST

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