Kochi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of allegedly "taking out money from the common man's pocket" and giving it to his "crony capitalist friends". He further accused Modi of "clearing the way for big businessmen" by "smashing" the small businesses and entrepreneurs through his various economic policies like demonetisation and flawed implementation of GST.
Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi took a dig at billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, saying "he can monopolise any business he wants in the country".Gautam Adani was last week briefly ranked as the world`s second-richest person on the Forbes real-time billionaire tracker.
He was addressing the massive crowd of people who had turned up to hear him at Paravoor junction in Aluva and were also part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra as it moved through Kochi city during the day.
Gandhi, in his speech, said that besides demonetisation and a flawed GST, the COVID-19 lockdown also adversely affected small businesses, labourers, farmers and other sections of the society except for the few billionaires in the country who benefitted from it.
Addressing the public meeting, Rahul Gandhi made a veiled reference to Gautam Adani and said the second-richest man on the planet is from India and asked "who gives him money to build businesses". He can monopolise any business he wants in the country. He can buy any airport and port. He can dominate agriculture, power and solar business. Who gives him money to build these businesses? It comes from public sector banks, it is your money," Rahul Gandhi said.
He said the money in banks should be used to build social infrastructure and extend credit facilities to farmers and small businesses. The Congress leader alleged that if a common man defaults in loan repayment, he is "called a criminal" but loans of big industrialists are turned into non-performing assets. "It is the money you give to build schools, and hospitals, to give loans to farmers, to support small business owners. If you take loans and default then you are called a criminal. But if the biggest businessman in India defaults, they are not called criminals but non-performing assets," he said.
(With agency inputs)