Kochi (Kerala) [India], September 21 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government of favouring big business and took a dig at billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, saying "he can monolpolise 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.
Addressing a public meeting at Paravoor Junction in Aluva in Kochi here during a break in Bharat Jodo Yatra, 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 monolpolise 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 but non-performing assets.
"It is the money you give to build schools, 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.
Business conglomerate Adani Group's chairman Gautam Adani last week briefly became the world's second-richest person on the Forbes real-time billionaire tracker. The position see-sawed between number two and number three earlier this week also.
Rahul Gandhi had on Monday also attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of trying to build a country where a "handful" of people "control" the entire country.
"BJP wants to build a country where a handful of people control the entire country, and because of this, millions and millions of people are drowning in poverty, youngsters can't dream of being employed," Rahul Gandhi said at a public programme at Kanichukulangara in the Alappuzha district of Kerala.
"Today we can see clearly that India is angry and violent. It is the BJP who has spread this anger and violence. It is in their DNA, and the result is that 4-5 people in this country make billions and billions of dollars.
"How can it be that we have the richest man and our people face the highest prices in the world? Is it something that we are going to just accept? A country where an average person cannot dream, cannot give education to his children, cannot take his parents to hospital, a youngster cannot dream of building a business? At the same time a handful of people monopolize their business," Rahul Gandhi had said.
Rahul Gandhi along with party leaders resumed the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kochi as the march entered its 14th day on Wednesday. The leaders, who camped in the Kochi district, started the yatra from Madavana this morning. The Yatra is in its Kerala leg and would traverse through the state.
The 3,500-km march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir will be completed in 150 days. (ANI)