Gorakhpur/Khalilabad, Sep 7: Making a strong pitch for farm loan waiver on the second day of his yatra in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi today accused Narendra Modi of "sitting pretty" when people were in "distress" and attacked him for his frequent foreign tours, saying he needs to focus on Indians as he was their Prime Minister.
The Congress vice president also took a jibe at the present system, when he said while people like industrialist Vijay Mallya, who run away without paying back bank loans worth thousands of crores of rupees were called "defaulters", farmers were dubbed as "thieves" for taking away cots.
He also asked the Modi government to run a dispensation that is for the poor and look into the plight of farmers who are "crying".
"Janata trast hai, Modiji mast hain. Janata ro rahi hai, kisan ro raha hai, aur Modiji mast hain" (The public is in distress, but Modiji is sitting pretty. The people, the farmers are crying, but Modiji is sitting pretty)," he said addressing a "khaat sabha" of farmers in Khalilabad.
Targeting Modi over his frequent foreign jaunts, Rahul said, "Modiji travels to England, sometimes he travels to China, Japan, sometimes to meet Obama. I want to remind him that he is the Prime Minister of India and not of America.
He should come here and his focus should be the farmers." He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi waived loans of Rs 1.10 lakh crore of "big industrialists and rich people" in the past two years, but forgot the plight of farmers who are carrying the burden of the entire country.
"We want to tell Modiji that if you want to run a 'suit boot sarkar', you can do so. You are the Prime Minister and we can't stop you. You should run a government for the poor. If you are waiving debts of big industrialists, you need to waive the debt of poor farmers too.
"You should come to the aid of poor and weak people. Our farmers who are dying, are being oppressed and suppressed, you should help them too...Don't forget the farmer, because the farmer is crying, big industrialists are not," he told farmers in Khalilabad as also Gorakhpur.
Attacking the BJP, he said, while Congress' opponents see farmers as poor people he felt that they are the "real power" of India. He said there were numerous reports from states that farmers were committing suicide due to scarcity of water, fertiliser, indebtness, poor MSP for their produce and lack of electricity.
Seeking to strengthen the party's base in Uttar Pradesh ahead of next year's Assembly election, Gandhi kicked off a month-long 'mahayatra' during which he would traverse 2,500 kms listening to the problems faced by farmers and highlighting their plight.
He said Congress was not in power at the Centre and in the state and thus not in a position to help them directly. "But we will raise their voice through agitation," he said.