Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the Union Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, saying it is only for 1 per cent of India's population.
He said the government needed to put money in the hands of people to restart the economy. The economy can be kickstarted only through consumption, not supply-side measures.
"My expectation from the Budget was that it will give support to 99 per cent of Indians. This Budget is for 1 per cent of population," Gandhi said at a press conference.
He accused the government of taking money from MSMEs, workers, farmers and forces, and giving it to 10-15 people in the country. Gandhi also criticised Centre's defence allocation in the Budget, saying that the meagre increase of "Rs 3,000-4,000 crore" gave the message to China that India won't increase its defence expenditure even if the Chinese army enters the country.
Referring to the barricading and road blockades on the borders of Delhi where farmers are protesting, Gandhi said, "Why is Delhi being converted into a fortress?"
He said the problem (farmers' protest) is not good for the country and peace and harmony, and the government should take back the farm laws. "Farmers are not going away, they won't back down. Government will have to back down," he said.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the country is lacking leadership, and there is no understanding or strategy.
"My constant request to the Prime Minister is do your job, you have been elected to do your job....Your job is to protect the kisans (farmers) standing outside. Go hold their hand, give them a hug and ask them what is it that I can do for you," Gandhi said.