LIMKHEDA : Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of helping hoarders of black money to convert it into white money with his "unilateral and whimsical" demonetization.
Addressing a large gathering of rural and tribal people in Limkheda town in central Gujarat's Dahod district, Gandhi asserted: "Modiji realized that ordinary people and small businessmen had not been completely crushed by note ban. So he brought GST.
"Suddenly at midnight, he developed a dislike for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, so he scrapped them, ha-ha-ha," Gandhi said to laughter from the crowds.
Repeating the word "Modiji" several times, he asked if Modi had ever asked farmers, labourers and small businessmen how they conduct their work: By cash or credit card.
Gandhi said: "The Congress urged him to go slow on GST, requested him not to have so many slabs and don't make it cumbersome. But he and (Finance Minister Arun) Jaitleyji just said no. They wouldn't listen."
In a scenario like this "when the entire country was set on fire by the twin blows, a new company rose from this fire", he said, referring to the firm floated by Jay Shah, son of BJP chief Amit Shah, which according to a report in a news website grew 16,000 times after the Modi government took charge in 2014.
He wondered how a fledgling company of Rs 50,000 hit a turnover of Rs 80 crore in just a few months and the same firm was closed down after making astronomical profits.
Gandhi then taunted the Prime Minister in Hindi: "Jab Modiji Pradhan Mantri baney tab unhone kaha tha, mein Pradhan Mantri nahi Chowkidar hun. Tou ab Chowkidar chup kyon hain? Kahan gaya Chowkidar?" (When Modi became PM he said he is a gatekeeper of the country. Now, why is the gatekeeper silent, where has the gatekeeper gone?).
The remark drew cheers from the crowds.
Gandhi was speaking during the third and last day of his second round of campaign in poll-bound Gujarat. He had a similar three-day sojourn in Gujarat's Saurashtra region from September 25 to 27.
In an interaction with tribal students earlier in Chhota Udepur town, Gandhi asked if they were happy with the educational facilities and if they could go to college without paying capitation fees.
When the reply came in the negative, he asked if they got jobs after "the hard-earned money" of their parents was spent on their education. The students said they didn't.
In reference to the contract system of the Gujarat government to fill permanent posts by outsourcing at much cheaper rates, Gandhi said this was a way of using people and throwing them way when not needed.
The Congress leader said the Gujarat government, earlier headed by Narendra Modi and even later, spent "precious money and resources" on a handful of industrialists at the cost of basic public services like health and education.
"This is the Gujarat model. This is achhey din, but for Modiji and Shahji, not for rest of the country."
He then assured the people, amid huge applause, that "achhey din aa rahen hain (Happy days are coming). Aur jab Congress power mein aayegi, tou aapke Mann ki baat sunegi (When Congress comes to power, it will listen to you what you want)."