Rahul Gandhi slams PM over Rafale deal; says country can't be run by one man
The Congress chief also targeted the prime minister over his "sleeping elephant" remark during the Independence Day speech, saying he had insulted the people of the country
Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be exposed if an inquiry was conducted into the Rafale fighter jets deal. Addressing a poll rally at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh's Durg district, he also said the country could not be run by one man or one party, but the "arrogant" prime minister did not understand this. Gandhi targeted both Modi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh over alleged scams under the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) rule.
"Modiji snatched the contract of the Rafale fighter jets from the State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and gave it to (industrialist) Anil Ambani. Under the UPA deal, 126 aircraft were to be purchased and the cost of each was Rs 526 crore. "Modi went to France with his delegation comprising Anil Ambani and struck a deal to purchase the aircraft for Rs 1,600 crore apiece," he said.
"The deal has been given to Anil Ambani, who formed a (defence) company just a few days ago.
Ambani has never made an aircraft. He had not even manufactured mobile phones because they were made in China and he (his group's telecom arm) just sold them," Gandhi said. "It is the truth that the chowkidar (watchman, referring to Modi) gifted a deal worth Rs 30,000 crore to Ambani," he alleged.
"The day an inquiry is ordered into the Rafale scam, two names will surface -- Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani. This was the reason Modiji removed the CBI chief (Alok Verma) at 2 in the night," Gandhi said.
"Modiji had urged the people to make him the chowkidar of the country and not the prime minister. But now, he is doing chowkidari for Anil Ambani (and fugitive businessmen) Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya," he added.
Both the government as well as Ambani have denied the allegations of corruption and favouritism in the Rafale deal. The Congress chief also targeted the prime minister over his "sleeping elephant" remark during the Independence Day speech, saying he had insulted the people of the country. "Modiji said when he became the prime minister, the elephant was sleeping, which meant this country of crores of people, farmers, labourers and youth was sleeping and Modi woke them up in 2014.
"By making such comments, he has insulted you, the workers of the Bhilai Steel Plant who have worked here since 1955," he said. "This country is not run by one man or one party, it is the citizens who run this country with their blood and sweat. But the prime minister cannot understand this. He is so arrogant that he cannot see the development that had taken place (before the BJP rule) in the country," the Congress chief said.
He added that there were "two Indias" -- one of the rich people like Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and another of the common people. "If you do not want to waive the loans of farmers, you should not do so for the rich as well. For a handful of rich, whose non-performing assets total Rs 12 lakh crore, loans of Rs 3.5 lakh crore have been waived," Gandhi said. He also targeted the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh over the alleged chit fund scam, civil supply scam and the allegations against the chief minister's son, Abhishek Singh.
"Chit fund companies committed a fraud of Rs 5,000 crore under the protection of the Raman Singh government. People's hard-earned money was snatched. Sixty people lost their lives, but no action was taken," Gandhi alleged. "Even Pakistan's (former) prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) has been jailed for the Panama Papers scandal but no action has been taken against Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh, who was named in the Panama Papers," he said.
The BJP has denied these allegations in the past. Gandhi concluded his two-day campaign in Bhilai Wednesday, ahead of the second phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls on November 20. The first phase of polling was held on November 12 and the results will be announced on December 11.
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