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Last Updated Wednesday February 21 2018 09:53 PM IST

Modi drives looking in the rear-view mirror, says Rahul in Karnataka poll rally

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 Rahul Gandhi Congress president Rahul Gandhi speaks during the launch of Jana Aashirwada Yatre from Hosapete city in Bellary, Karnataka on Saturday. PTI

Hospet (Karnataka): Attacking prime minister Narendra Modi for his recent Parliament speech accusing the Congress of yearning an "old India" of scams, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said Modi's "backward-looking" thought led to note ban.

"The country doesn't want to hear about the past, it is concerned about the future. Narendra Modi is the kind of PM who drives the vehicle looking in the rear-view mirror," Gandhi said addressing a party rally here in Hospet in Bellary district, about 350km from Bengaluru.

In his recent Parliament speech, the prime minister chose to speak only about Congress and India's past and not about the future of the country's youth, farmers and laborers, he remarked.

Gandhi asserted that Modi's "backward-looking" thought has caused demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), which he referred to as 'Gabbar Singh Tax'.

On his first visit to the southern state, where assembly polls are due in April-May, after he took over party chief in December, he kicked off the party's poll campaign from Bellary, the Lok Sabha constituency from where his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi had defeated BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in 1999 general elections.

Thousands of party cadres and people from different parts of the state attended the rally.

"Unemployment and farmers' crises are two of the major challenges in the country, and atrocities against Dalits are on the rise, but in his (Modi's) entire speech in the Parliament, he did not utter a single word on these issues," Gandhi said in his 40-minute long speech in Hindi. It was simultaneously translated into Kannada by the state Congress unit's working president Dinesh Gundu Rao.

The Modi government has also failed in keeping its promises of giving 2 crore jobs to the youth of the country each year, said the Congress chief.

"I ask the PM to learn from (Karnataka) chief minister Siddaramaiah, who responded to farm crisis by waiving off their loans and kept his promises," he added.

Terming the BJP as a "party of lies", Gandhi asked people to not trust any party that makes false promises. He also accused it of "corruption" in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.

"Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was given the first Rafale contract, and now Modi has given it to a friend of his," he said.

Over the past few days, the Congress has been attacking the BJP for not revealing the price of the fighter aircraft in the Parliament.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament last week that the details of the deal for the Rafale fighter jets cannot be disclosed as it was "classified information".

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