20 March 2018
Padubidre (Karnataka): Invoking Karnataka's 12th century social reformer Basavanna, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were "not inclusive" as he ignored farmers but waived off loans of big industrialists.
"Modi speaks about Basavanna but his policies are not inclusive. If he can waive off Rs 25 lakh crore worth loans of big industrialists, why can't he help farmers," he said at a public rally in the coastal Udupi district.
Gandhi -- who is on a two-day visit to the poll-bound southern state, the third in over a month -- told the gathering that though farmers had pleaded for the right MSP (Minimum Support Price) for their produce, it was not fulfilled.
"In contrast, our government in the state has spent thrice the amount on irrigation projects than the Modi government did for the entire nation.
"We do not spread hatred, We abide by the principles of Basavanna," he said a day after the state cabinet agreed to grant status of religious minority to Lingayats and Veerashaivas, who are followers of Basavanna.
Observing that the motto of his party's government in the state was Basavanna's principle of "follow what you preach", Gandhi said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took the lead in waiving off farmers' loans.
The 47-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family also lauded the state's youth for the IT revolution they spearheaded in Karnataka.
Noting that one person could not take the country forward, Gandhi said the nation had progressed due to the work of the 120 crore Indians.
"Wherever Modi goes he says nothing has happened in the last 70 years. He is insulting your parents, poor farmers, labourers and small business men of India," he said.
"One thing is definite, the Congress united everyone and took this nation forward."
Five state-run banks were started in Udupi district and the Congress has ensured the services of the banks reached every corner of the country, Gandhi said.
Siddaramaiah, state unit Congress President G. Parameshwara and Lok Sabha MP from the state K.C. Venugopal were among the other party leaders present at the rally.