PM attacks Cong on jobs, Rafale, ‘Quattrochi uncle’ in Sonia’s Rae Bareli

Addressing a public meeting in the Gandhi family bastion of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday set the tone for the BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by launching an attack on the Congress party.

On his first visit to Sonia Gandhi’s turf, he accused the Congress party of not having done enough for the constituency. Not just this, he tore into the Congress on various issues such as the Rafale deal, farmers’ issues and accused the party of compromising the nation’s security.

Modi addressed the public meeting shortly after laying the foundation stone of some projects and inaugurating others worth Rs 1,100 crore and flagging off the 900th coach built and the Hamsafar rake at the Modern Coach Factory.

The government had received a shot in the arm with the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal on Friday.

“Is the Congress agitated today and telling lies because the BJP government’s defence deals don’t have any Quattrocchi uncle or Christian Michel? Is it because of this that the Congress is trying to create an atmosphere of lack of trust in the judiciary?” Modi asked.

Earlier, speaking about Rae Bareli, Modi said that the previous government’s hadn’t done enough for the assembly constituency and that “The Centre is committed to development of Rae Bareli.”

Listing out the previous government’s failures, he said that the factory had been sanctioned in 2007, and built in 2010, but after that it was not utilised for the purpose it was set up.

Modi took on the Congress’s allegations of not providing jobs to the youth and said that till 2014 no new appointments had been made at the coach factory in Rae Bareli.

“Till 2014, only 3% of the machinery at the factory was being utilised. Of the sanctioned 5,000 staff, only 2,500 had been hired and those 2,500 had been brought from Kapurthala,” he said. He went on to talk about how his government had approved the hiring of more than 2,000 people. “Initially, only 200 people from the region were hired, but today that number has gone up to 1,500,” he said.

Speaking about the country’s security, Modi said that the previous government hadn’t done anything to bolster the armed forces. “After the Kargil war, the IAF had asked for modern planes. After Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Congress had ruled for 10 years, but they did not bolster the IAF. I want to know why the Congress has brought the armed forces to this level? Why have they played with the country’s security?,” he said.

Referring to the objections raised by the Congress on the Rafale deal, he said that the government was trying to increase the armed forces strength and arm it with modern weapons. “The other party is trying to weaken it,” he said.

First Published: Dec 16, 2018 14:06 IST

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