Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Jun 2018 11:13:55

The Hitavada Chandrapur Bureau

Chandrapur, June 13: Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, “There are many talented farmers who have potential to change the country’s fortunes, but they lack Government support. The Government waived off the cumulative loan of Rs. 2.5 lakh crores to 15 industrialists, but could not waive off loans worth Rs. 70,000 crores to farmers ...”

ON THE surface, Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s statements may appear logically correct. A deeper scrutiny, however, would reveal his immaturity and ignorance of the realities of India’s rural and agricultural sectors. Just because he is in Opposition today, he is talking such a language. But when he was in power just four years ago, he would not have uttered even a word about the issue. It is because of this reason that there is a need to show him the mirror, so that he would be forced to recall how farmers continued committing suicides during the sixty-plus years of Congress regime, how waiving off of loans to farmers did not help, how the Congress Government kept making false promises to farmers and misled them, how the agriculture sector was ignored by the Government right since Independence.

The questions to Mr. Rahul Gandhi are simple: Why did not your Government make life easier for the farmers in general? Why did you not ensure that farmers lived a better life? Why did not your Government ensure that farmers developed ability to pay back the loans rather than asking for their waiver?  It is time somebody told Mr. Rahul Gandhi that it was during the Congress regime that massive farmers’ agitations were launched by men like Mr. Sharad Joshi and Mr. Mahendra Singh Tikait, but almost to no avail, because the Congress Government was insensitive to the farmers’ problems, and casual about the rural issues.

All of a sudden, Mr. Rahul Gandhi woke up yesterday and went to meet the family of rice-variety inventor Dadaji Khobragade who died recently. And for no actual reason, handed over some money to the deceased man’s relatives. Obviously, his purpose was to project himself as a farmers’ sympathiser. Obviously, he wanted to show the people how much he cared for the issues of rural India. And as a leader of an Opposition party, he can afford to make irresponsible statements about any issue, no matter that it makes him a laughing stock.

As part of his aggression, Mr. Gandhi also keeps telling people how anti-people the Modi Government is and how people-friendly Government the Congress party provided. This leads us to asking yet another question to him: Mr. Gandhi, if your Government was people-friendly, if your Government was working hard to hold the society together, if your Government worked hard to help agriculture and rural sectors, if your Government’s finance and planning policies were right, then why did you lose the elections that reduced you to a party that could not win even 10% of the seats in Lok Sabha? For, if you were all that, the people should have held you aloft and got your party elected again. And a natural extension of this is a reminder to him that post-Lok Sabha defeat, things did not improve for the Congress. Much to the contrary, the party kept losing State after State to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.

Mr. Gandhi, how do you explain this complex phenomenon? What justification do you offer when we ask why your party suffered so many losses in a row in the past four years. We do admit, Mr. Gandhi, that your party also won at a few places. But Mr. Gandhi, don’t you agree that such flickering wins do not make any positive statement about your party. For, in a vast country like India, such developments keep taking place.  A few days ago, Mr. Gandhi also talked about how his Government had created lakhs of jobs through MNREGA -- which the Modi Government is failing to do. The counter to this statement is: If that was such a glorious fact, Mr. Gandhi, why did you not win the elections and retain power? The fact that nothing seemed to work in Congress party’s favour when Mr. Modi stepped out on a national campaign much before elections, is something Mr. Rahul Gandhi seems to forget. Hence these reminders. Hence this reality check.

Another thing Mr. Rahul Gandhi loves to talk about is how unconstitutional the Modi Governmernt is, and how non-secular the Prime Minister and how the BJP is promoting a fundamentalist agenda. At this point, our question is: Why, Mr. Gandhi, did you lose elections when you were a secular party and was following a constitutional agenda? Does that mean, by any chance, that the country has rejected your secular agenda and has embraced a fundamentalist one? It is time now to keep asking various questions to Mr. Rahul Gandhi -- not just about politics and elections, but also about the veracity and logicality of his statements. We must ask him also as to why his party keeps criticising the Prime Minister eventhough his record of public service is sterling.

But there is a big problem: Mr. Rahul Gandhi does not like answering questions from the media. In Mumbai, his press conference lasted for only two minutes and forty-five seconds. A scribe asked him whether he would lead the Opposition grand alliance in the offing. Mr. Gandhi did not respond to that question, but went off in an altogether different direction -- criticising Mr. Narendra Modi and the BJP and the RSS. With such an approach of Mr. Gandhi, we have one last question to ask: Do you think you can really lead the Opposition alliance?