Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday escalated his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation and said he has “information on corruption by the PM” who is “terrified” and therefore not allowing him to speak in Parliament.
“I have information on the PM that will burst his bubble. I have personal information about the PM. And he is terrified of it. It’s about personal corruption of the PM,” said Rahul, who has recently been continually alleging that the scrapping of high-value currency notes is a scam and a “war on the poor.”
On Wednesday, Rahul reiterated that the Prime Minister needs to give answers to the country about the prevalent cash crunch situation because of the November 8 currency ban.
“This is a democracy and he owes the country an explanation He can’t keep running away to pop concerts,” Rahul said scathingly, referring to the PM’s having put in an appearance at a recent concert by British pop band Coldplay. Rahul further said the PM is “afraid” to face the Opposition, which is why a debate in the Lok Sabha is being stymied by the ruling BJP.
“For a month, the whole Opposition has been wanting a debate in the Lok Sabha, but the government and the PM don’t want it. The PM cannot keep running away from a discussion in the Lok Sabha,” Rahul said, adding that the PM too “can speak in the debate for as long as he wants.”
The BJP, on the other hand, hit out at the Congress vice-president over his allegations of personal corruption against the Prime Minister. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said it’s been over two weeks that the House has repeatedly been adjourned, unable to transact any business. “Why Congress and Rahulji did not allow the House to function and have a proper debate on demonetisation issue in last 15 days?” Naidu was speaking to reporters outside Parliament.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the allegations levelled against him (PM Modi) by Gandhi were baseless. “Rahul Gandhiji has lost patience. From day one we have been saying that we are ready for a debate but it’s unfortunate that the Opposition is not allowing the House to function. If Rahul Gandhi had information, he could have revealed it 20 days ago, but till today he wasn’t ready to make any earth-shattering revelations.”
“We want Rahul Gandhi to speak. Because when he speaks, the Congress will be exposed and that’s good for us,” said HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at a press conference in New Delhi.
Criticising the Congress vice-president, Javadekar said: “Nobody believes in any such allegations and people are not taking it seriously because people have seen how Rahul has been creating disruptions within Parliament.”
Attacking the Opposition over its protest in Parliament, he said such disrespect for democracy was never seen and it highlights the Emergency era mindset of the Congress. TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the entire parliamentary system was facing a “threat” as government was not allowing the House to function smoothly and the Opposition to speak.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan hinted that the Opposition needed to decide what it wanted.
Expose Modi outside Parl: Kejriwal tells Cong leader
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside Parliament if he had proof of Modi’s involvement in corruption. “If Gandhi actually has papers on Modi ji’s personal involvement in corruption then why doesn’t he expose it outside the Parliament,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Chief Minister’s remarks followed Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashish Khetan’s tweet which said if Gandhi was not allowed to speak inside the House, then he should speak outside and disclose the information he has about Modi.
The Chief Minister also alleged collusion between the Congress and the BJP. “Friendly match. BJP says they have AgustaWestland against Congress. Congress says they have Sahara and Birla against BJP. Both don’t disclose,” the AAP leader said. Kejriwal had earlier accused Modi of taking several crores of rupees in bribe from “Sahara and Birla” when he was Gujarat Chief Minister.