Kerala: Rahul Gandhi Accuses PM Modi Of 'Extorting' People With Electoral Bonds

Gandhi said that the Centre used the intimidatory tactics with the help of central agencies like the CBI, ED and Income Tax Department against the targeted businessmen.

Rahul Gandhi in Kozhikode, Kerala Photo: PTI

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the electoral bond issue terming it as a form of 'extortion'.

Gandhi said that the Centre used the intimidatory tactics with the help of central agencies like the CBI, ED and Income Tax Department against the targeted businessmen.

Electoral bonds is 'extortion' at international level: Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a rally in Kerala's Kozhikode, Gandhi alleged, "There are some people in every small town or village who extort money on the streets by threatening physical harm. In malayalam you call this extortion 'kolla adikkal' (loot), but Modi calls it electoral bonds. What a common thief is doing on the streets, the PM is doing at an international level."

Gandhi accused the BJP-led central government of using "sophisticated" tactics to threaten targeted businessmen.

The Congress candidate from Wayanad stated, "At the electoral bond level, the threats are much more sophisticated. The ED, CBI and Income Tax people will come, they will interrogate and at the end of it, they will say why don't you give this (their business) to Adani."

He claimed that this is the manner in which Adani acquired the Mumbai airport from its former owner.

In some other cases, these threatening tactics also resulted in the businessman making payments to the BJP through electoral bonds, he claimed.

He brought up the electoral bond matter in connection with a recent interview of Modi.

"In his interview, he was trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet -- the electoral bond scheme through which the BJP got thousands of crores of rupees by extorting India's businessmen," Gandhi alleged while speaking to party supporters, workers and the huge crowd that turned up for his roadshow from Kodiyathur in Kozhikode district.

Later in Wayanad, Gandhi alleged that Modi "does not have the understanding to run the country".

During a public address in Wayanad, the Congress leader ridiculed the Prime Minister for his remarks urging people to clang steel utensils and illuminate their mobile phone lights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a previous speech in Kodiyathur, Gandhi accused Modi of diverting attention from the country's actual problems, safeguarding the wealthiest Indian entrepreneurs, and absolving their bank debts.

He claimed that Modi is assisting 'five or six of the biggest, richest businessmen' in India.

He claimed that Modi has given around Rs 16 lakh crores to 20-25 people in the country.

"But he does not talk of the issues farmers are facing in the country, the unemployment or the price rise," Gandhi said

The Congress leader said that since Modi was giving away money to a few rich people in the country, his party has decided to give money to the poor when it comes to power.

Rahul Gandhi on Congress' promises

He promised to give Rs one lakh per annum to one woman from every poor family in the country and his government will frame a law that will make it mandatory to provide one year paid internships or apprenticeships to every graduate or diploma holder in the country.

Under the proposed law, the interns and apprentices will get Rs one per year for their one year of training in their chosen field in the public or private sector or PSUs.

Gandhi also accused the BJP and the RSS of trying to destroy and change the Constitution and said that this was the only big issue of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and all other issues emanated from it.

Rahul Gandhi on human-animal conflict issue in Wayanad

Referring to the problems of night traffic ban, human-animal conflict and lack of a medical college faced by the people of Wayanad, he said that he was fully committed to ensuring that these three things happen.

Gandhi said that he personally as well as the Congress and the UDF have exerted pressure on the Kerala CM and ruling Left government in the state on the medical college issue, "but somehow they keep delaying it".

"If the Left government is not ready to do it, then when the UDF government comes to power in Kerala, which it will soon, it will do it," he assured.

He had won from Wayanad with a record margin of 4,31,770 votes during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Polling in Kerala's 20 Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 26.