Congress President made a high voltage speech in the southern tip of the nation. Rahul Gandhi in Tamil Nadu fiercely attacked the BJP and AIADMK alliance saying that the state should be ruled by the people of Tamil Nadu and DMK President MK Stalin should become its next Chief Minister.
He said India is a country of different ideas, histories, expressions, and languages. Both the Congress and the DMK believed in freedom, justice and security and that was the reason they would not let Tamil Nadu be ruled from Nagpur.
Addressing an election rally, about 260 km from Chennai, Mr Gandhi said:
“Tamil Nadu should be ruled from Tamil Nadu. Stalin will be the Chief Minister.”
The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu charge the BJP with remote-controlling the AIADMK government in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks that just because he controls the AIADMK, he can control the people of Tamil Nadu. But he does not realise that no one can define the history, culture and expression of Tamils but the Tamils themselves. That is the reason the DMK and the Congress are opposing Narendra Modi together, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said at an election rally.
Also attacking the ideological mentor of BJP, the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh which has its headquarters in Nagpur, Maharashtra, Gandhi said the state should not be ruled from Nagpur.
“We will not let the people of Tamil Nadu to be led by Nagpur,” Mr Gandhi said, adding that the DMK-Congress combine will defend the spirit of the Tamil people.
Addressing the loan-debt problem of the Tamil farmers Rahul Gandhi said when the Congress comes to power at the centre, farmers will not be jailed for non-repayment of bank loans.
He alleged that PM Modi is seen only with rich businessmen and not with poor farmers or small entrepreneurs.
“It is not fair that rich businessmen are not jailed for non-repayment of bank loans while poor farmers go to jail for defaulting on bank loans,” Mr Gandhi said.
“After 2019, no farmer will be put in jail for non-repayment of loan.”
He said the Congress government will tell the farmers in advance the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and other things so that they can plan their crops accordingly and seek benefits of the government schemes beforehand.
Rahul Gandhi highlighted the fact that many farmers travelled to New Delhi to participate in the farmers’ protest against the government lackness for farm schemes and supporting farm loan waive.
The Congress chief said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not find time to speak with the Tamil Nadu farmers who had protested in New Delhi demanding farm loan waiver.
Mr Gandhi said the Congress party has decided to carry out a surgical strike on poverty and promised to identity 20 per cent of the poorest in the country and transfer Rs. 72,000 every year into the bank account of women head of the poor family under the proposed Nyay scheme.
“Once the money gets paid into the bank account, poor people will start consuming and the economy will kickstart again.”
Rahul Gandhi mentioned that textile hub of Tirupur and the silk hub of Kancheepuram were destroyed by PM Modi through his demonetisation and GST.
He said “Modi snatched your money through demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax. Weavers were forced to pay a tax on yarn.”
Reassuring the people, he said, the textile industry in Tiruppur and the silk industry in Kancheepuram will start booming again after being affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Explaining his party’s minimum income guarantee proposal of Rs. 72,000 per annum under NYAY, Gandhi said the amount would be credited directly to the bank accounts of the poorest households (to be identified) every month.
This would trickle down to the market in the form of spending and spur the economy, he said.
This will create jobs in factories; Tirupur and Kancheepuram will come alive again.
Mr Gandhi also promised a revised GST and a simple and single rate tax regime once the Congress comes to power.
He also targeted the jobless growth with a promise that the Congress, once it comes to power, will fill up the 24 lakh vacant jobs in the government and 10 lakh vacancies in Panchayats.
Mr Gandhi said the Congress will also bring in the reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and state assemblies for women.
“Thirty-three per cent of central government jobs will also be reserved for women,” he added.
Referring to the controversy over common entrance exam for medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu, Mr Gandhi said in the Congress manifesto there is a line that states NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) will not be imposed.
“It seems like a small line in the manifesto. But it is the expression of Tamil Nadu. Every line in our manifesto is the expression of somebody in the country,” said Mr Gandhi.
He said all sections of the society were discussed before coming out with our manifesto.
“It is not man ki baath but our kaam ki baath,” he said.
The Congress is fighting the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu as part of the DMK-led alliance. Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats. Both Congress and the DMK are looking for revival in the state as both parties could not win a single seat in the parliamentary election 2014. Jayalalitha led AIADMK won 37 of 39 seats while NDA managed to win 2 seats.
After Jayalalitha demise, both the Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham wants to make sure that they get representation in the state and gradually be able to make government in the assembly.