Patna: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in his first rally in poll-bound Bihar, saying that he only met people wearing 'suits and boots' and has stopped talking to the country's poor.
"He apparently used to be a tea seller. I don't know if that is true. But today he only meets people in suits and boots," Mr Gandhi said at the rally in Bihar's Ramnagar town in West Champaran that goes to vote next month.
(Full coverage: Bihar Elections)
Mr Gandhi invoked Mahatma Gandhi to say that while the Indian independence movement leader worked amid the poor and the labourers in the region, PM Modi only met people who wear suit boot and not the poor and the oppressed.
"Your land which costs lakhs today will be worth crores tomorrow. Modi ji and his friends want to take it away from you in the name of development," he said.
Mr Gandhi also said that the Prime Minister had promised to bring back unaccounted wealth or 'black money' of the rich, stashed away in foreign bank accounts, but that hasn't happened.
"He had promised each of us Rs 15 lakhs. He had promised 2 crore jobs. He had promised to double the minimum support price for farmers. Has any of that happened? No," he said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Mr Gandhi's rally today was a solo act and not entirely by choice. First Lalu Yadav, and then Nitish Kumar, both allies of the Congress, made it clear that they cannot attend the public meeting. Their parties said the two leaders are busy with allotting seats for the polls.
But when he arrived in Patna this afternoon, he was received by the chief minister. On stage, he sat next to Lalu Yadav's son Tejaswi.
The Congress, partnering with the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, is facing a stiff battle against the BJP that is allying with the Lok Janshakti and the Hindustani Awam Morcha.