(MENAFN - Gulf Times) In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi yesterday said the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and demonetisation caused a huge loss to the economy.
Speaking at election rallies in Kanker and Rajnandgaon in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Rahul also accused the government of using the Maoist issue to divert attention from corruption and unemployment.
'Modi is talking about Naxalites in his Bastar rally. But he is silent over corruption and unemployment, Rahul said.
Taking a jibe at Modi, the Congress president said: 'Before the Lok Sabha election, he (Modi) had promised Rs1.5mn to every citizen and employment to 20mn youth. But after the election, he asked the people to pick up the broom and start cleaning.
Rahul said that through demonetisation, the Modi government had tried to snatch money from the poor.
No one else has caused as much damage as Narendra Modi has done with (demonetisation) and GST, Rahul said.
'All of you were standing in long queues during demonetisation. Have you seen Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya in the queue? Did you see any rich people in the queue? Have you seen (Chief Minister) Raman Singh in the queue? Rahul asked.
He also attacked Modi for destroying policies related to protecting tribal land and not implementing the Land Acquisition Act properly.
'Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Modi promised jobs. But today nearly 60,000 posts of teachers and 13,000 of lecturers are vacant and 3,000 tribal schools had been shut down in the state, Rahul said.
The Congress president promised that if his party was voted to power in Chhattisgarh, the party will ensure that the government vacancies were filled up.
He promised that Chhattisgarh farmers would get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs2,500 for paddy and bonus would be given to the farmers something the BJP had not done over the last two years.
And a Congress government would cancel farmers' loans 'within 10 days, he said.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati yesterday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 'painful and forced demonetisation he ordered two years back.
In a statement, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that so far none of the benefits propagated by Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in justification of the note ban had come true.
'Facts and data prove that the nation and its people have suffered the hasty decision of demonetisation and that like its other poll promises this too was a bundle of lies, Mayawati said.
She charged the prime minister and the BJP with bringing misery on honest and hard-working people and creating joblessness while helping their favourites launder dirty money.
The BJP acquired massive properties in the run up to the demonetisation, Mayawati claimed.
'A party which took power in 2014 with the promise of ‘good times' has done nothing for people's welfare, farmers and the poor, she pointed out.
She termed the ban on Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes ordered in November 2016 a result of the 'ego and dictatorial attitude of a single man referring obviously to Modi.
Earlier leaders and workers from the Karnataka unit of the Congress slammed the Modi government's demonetisation of high value currency notes two years ago, calling it the worst attack in comparison to the 26/11 and the 9/11 attacks on Mumbai and in the US.
Joining party cadres across the country as Congress held protests against the 2016 note ban, Congress state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told the protesters at the city centre that compared to the Mumbai and World Trade Centre attacks by the terrorists, demonetisation was worse as 'it was an attack by the country's prime minister himself.