Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Photo Source: PTI)
Launching a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that the economy of the country would not have destroyed if the former had taken advice from his predecessor Manmohan Singh before implementation of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Addressing an election campaign at Bargari town of Punjab’s Faridkot district, Gandhi said, "Modi used to make fun of Manmohan Singh. But after five years now, Modi ji does not make fun of Manmohan ji. Today the country is making fun of him".
The Congress chief, who referred to the GST as the Gabbar Singh Tax, also claimed that Singh had rightly predicted a fall of two percentage points in the country's GDP due to demonetisation.
Gandhi slammed Modi for likening the country's economy under the Singh-led UPA government as "sleeping elephant" and questioned his silence when the hard-working Punjab farmers ushered in the green revolution.
The Congress chief also stepped up his attack at the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab, accusing them of the 2015 desecration of religious texts, which still remains an emotive issue in the state. The Gandhi scion further promised strict action against the perpetrators.
The BJP dispensation 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.
In a first, the former prime minister, during a media interview in this election season, hit back at Modi, saying the five-year rule of the BJP government has been "most traumatic and devastating" for India’s youths, farmers, traders and every democratic institution and, hence, should be shown exit door soon.
All the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab is scheduled to go to polls during the last phase of general elections on Sunday, May 19. The counting of votes for seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will be taken up on May 23.