Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the ruling NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the Interim Budget 2019 claiming that the opposition has no dearth of agendas on which to corner the Centre.
“The biggest issue in front of the country today is jobs, in which PM Modi failed completely,” he said at a press conference following a meeting of opposition party leaders at Constitution Club in New Delhi today.
Flanked by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, the 48-year-old Gandhi said that the leaders discussed issues such as job creation and systemic attacks on democratic institution by the ruling government in their meeting.
Attacking the government over the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Gandhi said, “I think giving farmers Rs 17 a day is their insult. You [the govt] can forgive debts of Rs 3.5 lakh crore of 15 persons and you give Rs 17 per day to farmers?”
PM-KISAN is aimed at benefiting 12 crore small and marginal farmers.
Presenting his maiden Budget in Parliament, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that the scheme will provide assured income support for small and marginal farmers who will receive Rs 6000 per year in three instalments.
Reiterating the opposition’s stand on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Gandhi said that the leaders have decided to submit to the Election Commission a document containing their proposal.
“We have put together a document regarding EVMs which we will submit to the Election Commission at 5.30 pm on Monday,” he said, adding, “The main issue with EVMs is that there is a doubt in the minds of people of this country over its fairness.”
He said that there is need to create a back-up system so as to build the confidence of the people in the electoral system.
Gandhi said that the country is “at a 45-year-high on unemployment”.
“Elections will be fought on farmers, jobs and attacks on institutions as well as PM’s corruption on Rafale,” he said in response to a question on the agendas of the opposition.
“Surgical strike is going to happen in the next couple of months against PM Modi and the government on Rafale scam, unemployment and agriculture crisis. There is no dearth of issues,” Gandhi said.
The meeting of opposition leaders at the Constitution Club was also attended by senior Congress leaders TMC’s Derek O’Brien, SP’s Ramgopal Yadav, BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra, CPI-M’s Mohd Salim and TK Rangarajan, LJD’s Sharad Yadav, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, NC’s Omar Abdullah, RJD’s Manoj Jha, DMK’s Kanimozhi, RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary, JD-S’ Danish Ali among others.