A day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having taken money from corporate houses when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, the Congress again targeted the Prime Minister on Thursday.
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The strike this time was aimed at deflating the Prime Minister’s ‘nationalism’ pitch regarding demonetisation and a cashless economy.
“The Prime Minister should declare the names of international shareholders in mobile wallets, e-wallets, debit and credit card companies whose business prospects have flourished following the Centre’s demonetisation move,” said Mohan Prakash, All India Congress Committee’s General Secretary. Prakash, who is in-charge of the party affairs in Maharashtra, held a press conference in Mumbai where he trained guns on Modi.
“Vested foreign powers had been striving for two years to increase their footprint in the country. The Prime Minister and his government is playing into their hands. They are acting as their agents,” claimed Mohan Prakash. He further alleged that it was “these very powers who were behind the government’s push for a cashless economy”.
“Our estimate is that such foreign powers will collectively net Rs 4 lakh crore in profits from the move. It is for the PM and his ministers to clarify their position,” he claimed.
Claiming that Rahul’s revelation against Modi in Mehsana, Gujarat, was “just the beginning” and that “there were more revelations” in the offing, Mohan Prakash also raked up a four-year-old “chargesheet” that the party had released against Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, alleging corruption and wrongdoing in development and social infrastructure projects. “If he (the Prime Minister) has the guts, he must order an investigation into the allegations raised in the chargesheet,” said Mohan Prakash.
Top party sources said the Congress vice-president had set an agenda to demolish “the perception that the Prime Minister had cultivated” that he was “absolutely transparent and above board”. The party has now decided to devote energies towards it. “There is a realisation that unless you hurt brand Modi, it would be difficult to challenge the BJP,” said a senior party leader.
Mohan Prakash also criticised the PM for “taunting” former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Gandhi in his speeches on Thursday. “Both of them (Singh, Gandhi) have raised questions. But instead of answering the allegations, the PM is subjecting them to ridicule. The Prime Minister’s bhashan (speech) can’t end corruption,” said the Congress leader.
Alleging that traditional and small-scale industries have been adversely hit due to the demonetisation-triggered liquidity crunch, Mohan Prakash accused the government of “turning a blind eye to their woes”. He also demanded compensation for those who have lost their lives while queuing up outside ATMs.