Rahul Gandhi has been a relentless critic of PM Modi, targeting him on issues from the border row with China to the Covid pandemic-triggered migrant and economic crisis
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a multi-issue swipe – and one on his claimed fondness for mangoes – on Saturday morning.
Mr Gandhi flagged the deadly new wave of coronavirus infections and states’ warnings of depleted vaccine stocks, the condition of the economy and the lack of jobs, and the failure to reach an agreement with farmers engaged in a months-long protest against the centre’s new farm laws.
“No control on coronavirus and inadequate (stock of) vaccines, no jobs, no attention paid to grievances of farmers and labourers, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) are not safe, and the middle class is not satisfied,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
“Aam khaana theek tha, par aadm janta ko to chod do (love of mangoes was fine, but spare the ordinary people),” he added, in a jibe at the Prime Minister’s self-confessed – during his ‘interview’ with actor Akshay Kumar in 2019 – love of the fruit.
ना कोरोना पे क़ाबू,
ना पर्याप्त वैक्सीन,
ना किसान-मज़दूर की सुनवाई,
ना MSME सुरक्षित,
ना मध्यवर्ग संतुष्ट…
आम खाना ठीक था, आम जन को तो छोड़ देते!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 11, 2021
Mr Gandhi has been a relentless critic of PM Modi, targeting him on issues from the border row with China to the catastrophic migrant and economic crisis triggered by last year’s Covid lockdown.
He has also been critical of the centre’s vaccination policy; on Friday he wrote to the Prime Minister to argue for an immediate halt on export of Covid vaccines. He also called for a widening of the vaccine net – something states have asked for – to help contain the new wave of infections.
India has been rocked by a alarming surge in daily new Covid cases – over 100,000 were reported in each of the past five days, and the country’s active caseload has skyrocketed past 11 lakhs.
The rise in cases – which comes as new and mutated strains of the virus begin to circulate – is all the more concerning because of an apparent shortage in vaccine stocks. This morning Telangana joined Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Jharkhand in highlighting this issue.
The centre, however, has stressed that vaccines are not in short supply. Today is the start of a four-day “Tika Utsav” called for by the Prime Minister to speed up vaccinations.
Mr Gandhi has also reminded the centre of the need to put money directly into the hands of the poor – the “aam janta” – to help them deal with the continuing fallout of the pandemic. He made that same point in May last year – after the centre announced its Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief package.
On Saturday he repeated that advice, and tweeted: “The failed policies of the centre has led to a terrible second wave of coronavirus and migrant labourers are forced to migrate once again.”
Today’s swipe at the Prime Minister also referenced the farmers’ agitation, which has seen lakhs of farmers from across India protest the centre’s controversial new farm laws. Multiple rounds of talks have been over protests that have been going on since November, but without a breakthrough.