Ahead of the Maharashtra polls, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday hit out the Modi government for India's unemployment by talking about India's lunar mission - Chandrayaan, while addressing a public rally at Latur. He stated that the Centre was diverting people's attention by talking about Chandrayaan-2 rather than jobs. He stirred a controversy by saying India's moon mission will not feed hungry citizens. He also stated that the government would talk about the moon and Kashmir rather than 'real issues'.
"When elections come, talks of unemployment does not happen. Youth say that I don't have a future. They will say, 'Look at the moon, India has sent a rocket.' ISRO was established by Congress. The rocket was not built in 2 days. The fruits of the mission has been taken by Narendra Modi. This is a good thing, but sending rockets to the moon will not feed the stomach of people. " He added, "In the media, you will find Modi Ji in (Jim) Corbett park or Moon, China, Japan, Korea. They (Centre) are distracting us. Thats why they will talk about Kashmir, Moon etc but will not talk about the real issues."
Slamming Maharashtra's agrarian crisis and the rising unemployment, he said that the media was not covering these crisis. He pointed out that farm loans had not yet been waived in Maharashtra. He said, "In India, you ask anyone about the problems, they will tell unemployment and farmer crisis. But in media, you won't hear about unemployment. Did you hear in media that farmer loans have not been waived off in Maharashtra?"
Condemning the Centre's moves such as demonetisation and GST, he said that the economy had been decimated due to these moves. He assured that while Congress candidates did not talk about the moon, they would deliver on their promises. He also expressed pride in Maharashtra being the foundation of the Congress party. He also assured that Congress would definitely win Latur.
"Did you see any riches in the queue of demonetization? Modi Ji has not spared any small and middle businessman from Demonstration and GST. They (Centre) has decimated the Indian economy. The work which was done by years of hard work has been decimated. For Maharashtra elections, Congress candidates will not speak about Moon. But they will make 2-3 promises which they will keep. So please vote for them," he added.
Maharashtra which has 288 Assembly seats will go to polls in 21 October 2019. Maharashtra assembly elections will be held in a single-phase and the counting procedure would be conducted on October 24. Shiv Sena will contest for polls from 124 constituencies, the BJP will contest from 150 and its allies will contest from 14 constituencies. Meanwhile, Congress in alliance with Sharad Pawar's NCP, have decided to contest 125 seats each in the 288-member assembly, leaving the remaining 38 seats for its allies. Currently, the BJP holds 122 seats while the Shiv Sena holds 63 seats and the Opposition held by UPA has 42 seats.