High unemployment rate due to GST, demonetisation: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is focussing on Saurashtra

'Scared of debating me on corruption?' Rahul asks Modi [File] Rahul Gandhi | Salil Bera

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday attributed the unemployment rate of the country, which he dubbed the highest in the last 45 years, to GST and demonetisation.

Addressing a massive gathering in Mahuva in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, he said that the masses stopped buying products when GST was brought in and demonetisation was implemented. Factories closed and unemployment increased, he remarked.

The Congress is focussing on Saurashtra, from where it won a maximum number of seats in the 2017 assembly elections. Gandhi campaigned for the candidates of Amreli, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar LS constituencies.

Once again dwelling on the details of NYAY, Gandhi said that the magic would start the moment 30 per cent poor people started getting money. They will start purchasing, factories will open, and employment will be generated, he remarked. “Like a key that helps you to start an engine, NYAY will kickstart the engine of India's economy,” he said.

Those with a monthly income below Rs 12,000 will be the direct beneficiaries of NYAY, Gandhi said, adding that whether anyone liked it or not, the money will go into the accounts of women.

NYAY, he said, is an answer to all the injustices Narendra Modi and his government did to farmers and small traders in the last five years. The scheme will be implemented immediately after the Congress comes to power, he claimed.

Gandhi named a handful of industrialists, who he claimed were benefited by Narendra Modi's policies. The Congress president said money would come from their pockets and not the middle class. “The Congress will increase their income tax,” he held. Gandhi said that whenever Congress talked about MSP, farm loan waiver or NYAY, the BJP immediately asks as to where the money would come from.

Mentioning that he wanted to do away with the problems faced by farmers, Gandhi said that he would not want any farmer to go behind bars for not repaying debt. Hardik Patel spoke at the rally.

The opposition is trying to consolidate in the Saurashtra region, after Thakor leader, Alpesh Thakor, left the party. The Congress might also suffer some losses in north Gujarat area due to Thakor's exit.