The Congress leader said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no respect for the people and culture of Tamil Nadu
He also criticised the major economic policies of the present NDA government like Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi began his three-day-long campaign from Coimbatore in the run-up to the Tamil Nadu assembly elections on Saturday morning.
"I am delighted to be back in Tamil Nadu today to spend time with my Tamilian brothers and sisters in the Kongu belt. Together, we will defend and preserve the unique culture of the Tamils against the attacks by Modi government," Gandhi tweeted prior to embarking on his roadshow.
Interacting with people at the rally later, he again launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that the latter has no respect for the people and culture of Tamil Nadu.
"Narendra Modi has no respect for the culture, language, and people of Tamil Nadu. He thinks that Tamil people, their language, and culture should be subservient to his ideas and culture," said Gandhi.
He also said that he has a familial relationship and not a political one with the people of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking about the farm laws he said: "The farmers will be made servants of companies and that is why we are fighting against them. I believe that Tamil Nadu will set an example for India. It is very unfortunate that farmers and youths are not given opportunities in the state. That is why we are working to help you."
Gandhi also spoke about major economic policies of the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government like Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation. He said the reforms have destroyed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country.
"A massive crippling blow delivered to the economy was demonetisation. It devastated small and medium industries because you are dependent on the cash flow," said Gandhi while addressing a gathering of MSME representatives.
Criticising the implementation of GST, he said: "It needs to be restructured, it needs to be conceptualised. The current regime imposes a huge load on smaller regional businesses. It is the commitment of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government that when we come to power, we will restructure the GST."
Gandhi said that he had earlier warned against the adverse effects of the pandemic on the Indian economy. "I said that the government needs to act on this upfront without delay. They ridiculed me saying I am fear-mongering."
He added that the government gave loan waivers to the biggest industrialists, but the protection should have been given to MSMEs. He said without giving incentives to small-scale industries there is no way forward.
The Congress leader is on a three-day visit to the western belt in Tamil Nadu and will have interactions with farmers, weavers and the general public.
He will also visit Tiruppur, Erode, Karur and Dindigul districts between 23 to 25 January.
This is Gandhi's second visit to Tamil Nadu this month, after his one-day visit to Madurai on 14 January to watch jallikattu at Avaniyapuram.