Modi should have taken Manmohan’s advice before demonetisation: Rahul


BARGARI (PUNJAB), May 15: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday contrasted Manmohan Singh who led the UPA government and Narendra Modi, saying the prime minister wouldn't have destroyed the economy if he had taken advice from his predecessor.
Modi used to make fun of Manmohan Singh. But after five years now, Modiji does not make fun of Manmohanji. Today the country is making fun of him, Gandhi said at an election rally here.
Accusing Modi of destroying the economy with his two decisions, he said had the PM taken the advice of Manmohan Singh he would not have rolled out demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Gandhi referred to it as the Gabbar Singh Tax. He claimed that the former PM had rightly predicted a fall of two percentage points in the country's GDP due to demonetisation.
The Congress leader targeted Modi for likening the country's economy under the Manmohan Singh as sleeping elephant , and asked where he was when the hard-working Punjab farmers ushered in the green revolution.
Modi has often called the Manmohan Singh government as one run by remote control, suggesting that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was the one who wielded real power. During this election campaign, Manmohan Singh has hit back through media interviews.
At the rally in Faridkot district's Bargari town, Rahul Gandhi also attacked the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab over the 2015 desecration of religious texts, which still remains an emotive issue in the state.
He promised strict action against the perpetrators. Punjab goes to the polls on Sunday, the last phase of the LokSabha elections. Intensifying his attack on the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday promised strict action against those involved in the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Recalling his previous visit to the Punjab town, where the first incident of sacrilege took place and two people died in police firing at protesters, Gandhi said, Your 'dharma' was disrespected.
Strict action will be taken against the perpetrators, he promised. I give you a guarantee on this, he said at an election rally at Bargari in Faridkot district. Later, Gandhi addressed another meeting in Ludhiana, where he continued attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The row over the 2015 incidents of desecration continues in Punjab with the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, blaming the previous ShiromaniAkali Dal-BharatiyaJanata Party government in the state for it.
At another Punjab rally on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi's sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had also tried to corner BJP's ally SAD over the issue.
The Congress focus on the desecration of religious scriptures comes at a time when the BJP has renewed its attack on the party over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, both emotive issues in state which goes to the polls on Sunday.
At Gandhi's rally, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced a memorial in Bargari for those who lost their lives and suffered injuries in the 2015 police firing.
Reacting to the Bargari rally, the Akali Dal accused the Congress of politicising the desecration of Sikh scriptures and also recalled the anti-Sikh riots, which took place around the time Rahul Gandhi's father Rajiv Gandhi took over as prime minister.
Rahul Gandhi also taunted Modi for allegedly failing to keep poll promises, and contrasted the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government with that headed by NarendraModi.
"The PM thinks only one person can run the country, but actually it is the people who run it, he said.
At the Ludhiana rally, the Congress leader indirectly referred to Modi recently targeting Rajiv Gandhi.
Whatever you want to speak about my family, you can do so. If you want to abuse, you can also do that, he said.
"I belong to the Congress and I will reply to your hatred with love because that is in our DNA. That is the message I have learnt from the people of Punjab and that is what was taught by Guru Nanak Dev, he said.
He criticised Modi's 2016 decision in 2016 to demonetise high-value currency, claiming it destroyed the economy.
"Anywhere you go, people say, demonetisation was financial madness. Do not know what went through his mind. God knows what he had eaten the day he announced demonetisation, Gandhi said. Demonetisation dealt a blow to the Indian economy, he said.
Gandhi alleged the aim of demonetisation and the Gabbar Singh Tax', which he said affected small and medium enterprises in Ludhiana as well, was to finish them and hand over their businesses to a few rich industrialists.
Ridiculing Modi for his pre-written media interviews with prepared answers , Gandhi said he just talked about irrelevant things like how he eats mangoes and how he fits his clothes into the suitcase.
Polling for the 13 LokSabha seats in Punjab will take place in the final phase of elections on May 19.

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