In a bid to firm up the alliance with the Samajwadi Party and improve the party’s seat tally in Uttar Pradesh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been crisscrossing the state to woo the electorate as 73 constituencies go to polls on February 11 in phase one. On Wednesday, addressing an election rally in Khurja, Rahul equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump. “The United States of America had recently Donald Trump in the seat but India had a Trump in the form of Modi two-and-a-half years earlier,” he said.
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Rahul has made denomenisation and its affects, primarily farmer distress, as his election theme for Uttar Pradesh. “This (demonetisation) was not aimed at curbing corruption, but helping it. The Modi government did this so that money come back to banks and then they could wipe out non-performing assets of the banks. This BJP government is not for the common man, but to help the 50 industrialists and corporates,” he said.
Modi has been the target of most of Rahul’s barbs. He was also quick to turn around Modi’s carefully-crafted acronyms to put BJP’s rivals in a spot. Point in case, when Modi said that BJP’s fight is against and S.C.A.M. — Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati — Rahul hit back saying the alliance with Samajwadi Party is making the prime minister anxious. Akhilesh joined in saying SCAM stands for “Save Country from Amit Shah and Modi”.
Rahul also jointly addressed rallies, roadshows and press conferences with Samajwadi Party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and Kanpur. He has repeatedly expressed confidence in the alliance sweeping to power in UP. Saying that the alliance has been gathering steam, he said: “There is a wave across Uttar Pradesh in favour of this SP-Congress partnership, friendship. This will soon turn into an aandhi (storm).”
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Bringing back jobs and providing employment to youth has been one of his key poll promises. After holding public meetings in Hathras, Bulandshahr and Hapur, Rahul, who addressed four rallies in Muradnagar, promised to turn it into a manufacturing hub once again. This was an industrial hub once. And I look at my phone sometimes and think, why does it say Made in China. If voted to power, the SP-Congress government will ensure that the state economy is revitalised and industries are brought back here. There will not only be ‘Made in India’, but ‘Made in UP’ and ‘Made in Muradnagar’,” Rahul said.