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Rahul challenges PM Modi to debate

Rahul challenges PM Modi to debate
Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi, Apr 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/2/2019 12:43:47 PM IST

At the release of party manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi brushed a question on his prime ministerial candidature saying, “It is for the people of India to decide.” But Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra on several fronts challenging him to “a debate” on the issues of corruption, development, national security and foreign policy.

“Mr Narendra Modi is hiding. Mr Narendra Modi is scared. Mr Narendra Modi does not want a real debate. I challenge Mr Narendra Modi to a debate on national security, foreign policy and corruption. Why is he scared,” said Gandhi stepping up his attack on PM Modi.

“The prime minister is trying to hide behind hollow narratives, but he can’t do that anymore...Chowkidar can hide but can’t run,” he said.

Gandhi, who is contesting from two seats in the Lok Sabha including Wayanad in Kerala, dismissed PM Modi’s charge that the Congress president has chosen a constituency where “majority is in minority” because of his fear of losing on the account of the UPA government’s “theory of Hindu terror”.

“There was a demand for me. There is a very strong feeling in south India that they are not being carried by the current government. South India feels hostility from Mr Narendra Modi. 

They feel that they are not being included in the decisions of this country. So, I wanted to send a message to south India that we are with you and we are standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala,” Gandhi said.

The Congress president attacked the Modi government over the issues of unemployment and farm distress alleging that the BJP-led regime neglected the farmers, small businessmen and failed to deliver its promise of “creating 2 crore jobs every year”.

He said, “I am absolutely sure that narrative in this election is unemployment and state of farmers. So, absolutely sure that issues in this elections are corruption and NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana, the minimum guarantee scheme promised by the Congress).”

The Congress president has been targeting PM Modi over the issues of Rafale deal, unemployment and farm loan waiver. Gandhi has pitched the Congress’s poll battle against the BJP on these issues.

In March, Gandhi announced to roll out a minimum income guarantee scheme, if the Congress is voted to power in the Lok Sabha election. 

The scheme aims at providing cash support of Rs 6,000 a month to around 5 crore poorest families of the country.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the Congress’s poll promise a “bluff announcement” but Gandhi has termed it a “revolutionary idea” that will “change the face of India” after the elections.

At the release of Congress manifesto, Gandhi took a dig at the BJP for dismissing the proposed minimum income guarantee scheme. 

He said, “I agree it is not doable for the BJP. But it is doable for the Congress.”

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