The Congress got a boost with OBC leader Alpesh Thakore joining it in the presence of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi who attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetisation and GST, calling it a “Gabbar Singh Tax” that has ruined India’s economy.
Gandhi also asked Modi to break his silence on BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay whose business fortunes allegedly sky-rocketed after the NDA came to power.
Addressing a gathering of thousands of supporters of young OBC leader Thakore who heads Thakore Sena, the Congress leader alleged that the BJP had tried to buy “priceless” voices of Gujaratis and said it won’t succeed.
“What happened on November 8? Modiji came on television and said I don’t like Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. So I have decided to spike them from that midnight. And by doing that he attacked the whole country by one stroke.
“For the first two three days days he too did not understand what has happened. And in a concert in Mumbai he announced ‘I have done this’. But after five-six days he realised he made a mistake. Then again he appeared on television and said if I don’t end the menace of black money by December 30 then hang me.”
Gandhi then asked farmers in the crowd if they buy seeds and fertilizers from their mobile phones and with cheques. The crowd replied with a loud ‘No’.
“He destroyed the entire economy. He did not stop there but went ahead with the GST.
“GST was our thinking. We brought it, it was a thought of single tax of 18 per cent across the nation with less forms to be filled.”
He also took a dig at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for rejecting Congress recommendation of cutting tax slabs.
“But they said that they will do it in the same way they did it with demonetisation with all celebrations at midnight. Now there is a GST with 28 per cent tax and three return forms.
“Now GST has become a Gabbar Singh Tax,” he said, punning on the name of famous Bollywood villain in “Sholay”.
Gandhi also attacked the “Make In India” slogan of the Prime Minister, saying it was Chinese goods everywhere in the country.
“The government has to give employment to youth. India’s competition is with China. Should employment go to China or come to India?
“Most of the products you use have the label of Made in China. Whether it is a shirt, cameras or anything else. When you click selfies or press a button for a picture, a Chinese youth gets employment.
“Modiji talks of Make in India. In Gujarat alone there are 30 lakh unemployed youth. Everyday 30,000 people across the country enter the job market. But only 450 people get jobs.”
Referring to an allegation by Narendra Patel, a Patidar leader close to Hardik Patel, that a bribe of Rs 1 crore was offered to him to join the BJP, Gandhi said the priceless voices of Gujarat can neither be stifled nor bought.
“Alpesh ji you asked these people to remain silent. But how they can remain silent. Modiji has harassed them a lot and that is why they cannot remain silent.
“Even Hardik, Jignesh Mewani, (a Dalit leader), cannot remain silent. They too have a voice. And this is no ordinary voice. It cannot be suppressed or bought.
“Whether they give Rs 1 crore, Rs 100 crore, Rs 1,000 crore or India’s total budget or the wealth of the world. The voice of Gujarat cannot be bought or suppressed.”