Rahul Gandhi accuses PM Narendra Modi of vesting all powers in PMO

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Bengaluru/ Mandya, Oct 9: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused PM Narendra Modi of vesting all powers in the Prime Minister Office and said in the present government MPs and even ministers have little say in governance.

He said while the previous UPA regime had worked to devolve power to the panchayat level, Prime Minister Modi has retained all the power with the PMO where some bureaucrats run the country.

[Updates: Rahul Gandhi feels the pain of farmers, lashes out at BJP in Bengaluru]

Rahul Gandhi

"It is not possible to run the country like this," he said. He claimed that BJP MPs and even ministers cannot speak in Parliament. "They say no one listens to us," the Congress Vice-President said.

Rahul also targeted the Prime Minister over his promise made in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections that Indian black money stashed abroad will be brought back and Rs 15 lakh each of the recovered amount will be deposited in bank accounts of citizens.

"But which promise have they fulfilled," he asked. He said successive Congress governments have worked for the poor and the weak and gave country green revolution, white revolution, bank nationalisation and telecom revolution.

"We have made efforts to empower the people. This is the difference between the RSS, the BJP and Congress... we wanted to empower the pradhan, the MP by schemes like MNREGA, Right to Education, RTI, Tribal Bill so that you can decide where (any) bridge should come up," he said.

Rahul interacted with sugarcane cultivators and farmers from Mandya and nearby areas. He will also undertake a 'padyatra' tomorrow and hold interactions with farmers, students and women workers in Haveri district. 

Gandhi is today holding interactions with sugarcane cultivators and farmers from Mandya and nearby areas.

"I visited the families of those who committed suicide. The reality is that there is an agricultural crisis in the country. It is very important that the farmer who gives his life for the country and works for the country is supported.

"We had discussions with the chief minister and other ministers and have some ideas as to what we are going to do, which will be announced by the chief minister tomorrow," he said.

Further targeting the Centre, he said that "the sad part is that the support which the central government should give to the state is missing".

"The state has made demands which the central government is not taking seriously. The central government does not think that agriculture or farmer is important. This is very unfortunate," he said.

Claiming that when UPA was in the government, it did not view farmers "as Karnataka, Bihar or Jharkhand farmers", he alleged, "The BJP government views different states differently.

If the state is controlled by them, they have a different idea, if not, they have a different idea. It is very sad. The people who are suffering are all Indian people. The issue is how sensitive you are to farmers.

"They are struggling. When the Congress government was in power, we supported them. We helped them with Rs 70,000 crore loan waiver, we maintained an MSP, we ensured whatever trouble they were going through, they felt they were supported by the government. That is what is lacking in this government," Gandhi said. He also took a swipe at Modi's foreign visits.

"Our PM goes everywhere, he goes to US may be he should spend sometime with the farmers of this country and Karnataka," he said.

Meanwhile, in reference to the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls, which Congress is contesting as part of an alliance with RJD and JD(U), Gandhi dismissed suggestions that RJD chief Lalu Prasad did not want to share the dais with him at campaign rallies. "There is no such thing," he said.

Reiterating his claim of BJP government looking at states differently, Gandhi said, "If the state is controlled by them, they have a different idea. If the state is not controlled by them, then they have a different idea. It is very sad. The people who are suffering are the Indian people."

Gandhi said the issue was "how sensitive you are to the farmers. The farmers are struggling." The UPA when in power had supported the farmers with loan waiver amounting to Rs 70,000 crore, he said.

"The Prime Minister goes everywhere. He goes to the US and other countries. He should also spend some time with the farmers of this country and farmers of Karnataka," he noted.

On being asked further about the agrarian crisis and the sudden jump in farmer suicides in the Congress-ruled Karnataka, he said they had discussed a strategy, which government would implement. When queried whether a loan waiver was being considered, Gandhi said, "We are trying to go and support kisans in Karnataka.

We are going to help him. It is not just one simple thing." Gandhi was accompanied by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, party senior leader and in charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh and KPCC President G Parameshwara.

PTI

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