On the last day of the campaign for the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Congress has already conceded defeat and was now telling the people the reasons behind it. “They are talking about infighting, unfair distribution of tickets, and rebel candidates and they are discussing the logic and reasons of their defeat so that ‘naamdaar’ is not held responsible,” Modi said, using his oft-repeated term for Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing a gathering at Sumerpur in Pali district, Modi claimed that the people of Rajasthan had already decided to elect the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power. He addressed another rally in Dausa district.
Modi claimed credit for the extradition of British national Christian Michel James, a middleman wanted in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, saying that the accused, who has taken UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s name, “will spill the beans” on the deal during the UPA government’s tenure.
The Congress hit out at Modi and accused him of being the “protector, benefactor and promoter” of AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica, and demanded a CBI probe into the Prime Minister’s role in “exonerating” the Italian defence and aerospace major which was blacklisted by the UPA, while party president Rahul Gandhi, campaigning in Telangana, sought explanation from Modi on the controversial Rafale jet deal.
Modi also referred to the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday allowing the Income Tax department to reopen tax assessment of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case. He claimed the court decision was a “victory of the honest” and credited a “chaiwala” (himself) for taking to court “those who have been running the country for four generations (Nehru-Gandhi family)”.
Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram took to twitter to counter Modi’s assertions. “Whoever briefed Mr. Modi on the proceedings in the SC yesterday in the income tax cases deserves to be sacked. “If nobody briefed him and it was the Prime Minister’s own conclusion that he had ‘won’ in the SC, the government deserves to be thrown out,” tweeted the senior Congress leader.
Trying to woo the public in Pali district, Modi told the people that just like in 2013, he started his campaign for this election from Alwar and came to Pali to end his campaign.
In Dausa district, Modi told the gathering that the country was “proud of Dausa”, where the khadi national flag is made in Banetha village. He said every time he thinks of Dausa, he is reminded of the national flag, and told the people that Mahatma Gandhi had hoisted the first national flag made in Dausa. “The pattern of khadi of Dausa is known in the entire country and khadi had played its role in the freedom struggle. This khadi had worked for Mahatma Gandhi’s self-dependency, but the fake Gandhis have wiped out the khadi,” he said.
He asked the people if they have “ever heard the Congress governments or its leaders speaking about Khadi”.
He said the BJP government has worked for the development of khadi, due to which its sales are “continuously increasing and people are getting employment”. “More than 11 lakh people are working on khadi, which will increase to 22 lakh people,” he claimed.
Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera reacted to Modi’s allegations on Sonia Gandhi, saying, “What happens in the courts of the country has nothing to do with any government or political leaders. Is Modi trying to say that he endorses what retired justice Joseph Kurian, said the other day?” The former Supreme Court judge has claimed that former Chief Justice Dipak Misra was being “remote controlled by an external source”.
On allegations related to AgustaWestland case, he said, “I would like to remind the PM that the inquiry in the case was initiated by the UPA government and may we also ask him that why AgustaWestand was removed from the black list.”
First Published: Dec 06, 2018 11:56 IST