Churu: A group of youngsters wearing T-shirts which spelt out the “chowkidar chor hai” slogan Monday caught the attention of Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a rally, where he attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over jobs.
Addressing a public meeting in Sardarshahar town of Rajasthan’s Churu district, Gandhi acknowledged the presence of some youths who were wearing the T-shirts having each letter of the slogan “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is a thief).
“You are wearing T-shirt of the ‘chowkidar’ (watchman). You all are welcome here,” Gandhi said.
The Congress chief first said Modi had promised Rs 15 lakh in the bank accounts of all Indians and asked whether anyone present in the rally had received the amount.
“‘Chowkidar’ ji had also promised 2 crore jobs. Anyone among you got the jobs?” Gandhi asked.
Describing demonetisation and the goods and services tax as an attack on the country’s economy and employment, the Congress leader claimed lakhs of youths were left unemployed by the twin decisions.
Gandhi accused Modi of giving public money to the top 15 rich people, adding that the Congress wants to give money to the poor through its proposed minimum income support scheme, Nyay.
Under the scheme, Rs 72,000 will be deposited annually in the bank accounts of the poorest 5 crore women of the country, Gandhi explained. “The money to run the scheme will not come from the bank accounts of the middle class and shopkeepers or from the pockets of honest businessmen.”
He also talked about the Congress’ manifesto promise of making loan default by farmers a civil offence.
“I want to give a message to PM Modi, you want to send to jail those farmers who cannot repay a loan of Rs 20,000,” Gandhi said. “But you can also send behind bars those who have taken away Rs 35,000 crore of public money. If they are not jailed, then the farmers will also not go (to jails).”
Gandhi pointed out to the farmers’ budget promised by the Congress if it comes to power.
“After the 2019 election, two budgets are going to be presented in India. The first budget will be the special budget for the farmers. Not after the general budget, it will be presented before the general budget.”
In the budget, Gandhi said, the farmers would be told how much money the government was going to give them in a year. Issues of minimum support price (MSP) and compensation will be clear in the budget, he added.