Modi waived ₹16 lakh-crore debts of 25 billionaires, says Rahul Gandhi | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Modi waived 16 lakh-crore debts of 25 billionaires, says Rahul Gandhi

By, Mumbai
Mar 13, 2024 07:54 AM IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed PM Modi waived ₹16 lakh crore in debts of billionaires but not for tribals. He promised support for farmers and tribal rights at a rally in Maharashtra.

The Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had waived 16 lakh crore in debts of 20-25 billionaires while it had not written off even 1 for tribals and those who were in need, claimed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday as his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered Maharashtra.

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Addressing a rally, ‘Adivasi Nyay Sammelan’ (tribal rights convention) at CB Pump Ground in tribal-dominated Nandurbar district, Gandhi said with this gesture to billionaires, the Prime Minister gave away money equivalent to what had been earmarked for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in the last 24 years.

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“The Central government spends around 65,000 crore on this rural employment guarantee scheme every year,” he said, explaining the financial impact of Modi’s decision.

The Wayanad MP also tried to make a point that Modi was working for the rich by underlining that the top 22 billionaires had more wealth than that of 70 crore Indians.

In an indication to the Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi reiterated his party’s promise of a caste census and an economic survey of all the communities in the country to understand their social backwardness if Congress came to power.

Talking about a legal guarantee for minimum support price to farmers, mentioned in the party’s manifesto, Gandhi stressed strengthening the Forest Rights Act. “All the pending claims will be settled in a year after coming to power. The claims that were rejected will be reviewed in six months and necessary action will be taken.”

The Forest Rights Act, 2006, recognises the rights of tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources. It allows tribal households to claim ownership of up to 10 acres of forest land if they can furnish evidence that they have lived in and depended on the forests for their livelihood before December 13, 2005.

Before the rally, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi on Thursday would visit Shri Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple in Nashik.

“Rahul Gandhi will visit the jyotirlinga at Trimbakeshwar to offer prayers. He had earlier offered prayers at three jyotirlingas — Baba Baidyanath Dham at Deoghar in Jharkhand, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh,” Ramesh said.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole, who accompanied Gandhi, called him a ‘Shiv-bhakt’ (follower of lord Shiva).

Calling the Congressmen a ‘Ram pujari’ (worshipper of Ram), Ramesh said the BJP leadership on the other hand was ‘Ram Vyapari’ (doing business in the name of Ram).

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will cover 479 kms and pass through five districts in the next seven days before culminating in a grand ceremony at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on March 17. The grand old party has invited top leaders from the opposition-led INDIA bloc for the Mumbai rally.

From Nandurbar, the Yatra will proceed to Dhule district on March 13 and enter Nashik district through Malegaon the same evening. On March 14, it will cover the entire Nashik district and Palghar on March 15. It will reach Thane the same evening.

The Nandurbar Lok Sabha constituency is considered a traditional Congress bastion, but the party has been losing the seat to the BJP for the two consecutive elections.

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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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