Rising to the defence of the Prime Minister, the BJP Wednesday rejected Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s allegations that Narendra Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister, received money from Sahara and Birla groups. Describing Modi as “pure like the Ganga” and an “epitome of honesty”, the BJP accused Rahul of “diverting attention from the AgustaWestland helicopter scam in which his party leaders and family members have been named”.
Addressing a press conference after Rahul levelled the allegations at a public rally in Gujarat, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The allegations levelled against the Prime Minister are baseless, false, shameful and mala fide and they reflect Rahul Gandhi’s frustration in leading his party to disastrous defeats in state after state.”
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“I condemn the irresponsible and shameful allegations of Rahul Gandhi… The public will never believe this. The country could not expect anything else from Rahul Gandhi who had been the second most important person in the Congress, whose whole history stinks with corruption. The saga of the Congress is to promote looters of public money and protect them,” he said.
Referring to scams during the rule of the Congress-led UPA, Prasad said: “The exemplary record of Congress party establishes a new benchmark in the loot of public money in the annals of the world. They did not spare the sky, space, land and under the sea.”
He wondered why Rahul never raised his voice against corruption during UPA rule. “Not a word was spoken by him against the series of stinking corruption charges which had become integral to the Manmohan Singh government in which he was the second most important leader after his mother Sonia Gandhi,” Prasad said.
He said people in the country have realised that Rahul does not think before he speaks. Blaming him for leading his party to “disastrous defeats”, the Minister said people of India do not trust Rahul or his party to lead the country or a state. “Now they do not consider his party as capable enough to lead even municipalities,” he said, referring to the civic elections in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chandigarh where the BJP registered impressive wins.
Prasad said Rahul levelled the charges of corruption to “divert attention” from the inquiry into the AgustaWestland scam in which “names of his party leaders and family” had come up.
“He has been disturbed over the AgustaWestland probe.Congressmen and the family have been named in the AgustaWestland investigations. It is not surprising that they resorted to this baseless tactic given that they are feeling cornered. What is he himself? He is on bail in the National Herald case, a case of serious cheating and fraud,” Prasad said.
“And now he has raised false allegations against a clean and honest Prime Minister under whom the government has been running honestly.” He said Rahul will not be able to save his party leaders or family in the AgustaWestland investigation by raising allegations against Modi because the CBI will do its job “honestly”.
BJP leaders said the allegations raised by Rahul were not new and the Supreme Court had “rejected” the diary entry as evidence. “Welcome the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court of not entertaining baseless charges leveled against Hon’ble PM by Rahul Gandhi,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Twitter.