Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the charge against Congress over the Rafale deal from Rae Bareli, Sonia Gandhi’s home turf, saying the party was upset over the fact that there was no “Quattrocchi mama” or Christian Michel in BJP’s defence deal.
“I want to know from the Congress that why is it agitated and telling lies repeatedly. Is it because there is no Quattrocchi mama or Christian Michel in defence deals done by the BJP government,” Modi said.
Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian industrialist, was one of the alleged middlemen in the Bofors deal inked by the Rajiv Gandhi-led government in 1986. Referring to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, Modi said, “We have brought one uncle, Christian Michel, to India a few days ago.”
The 54-year-old British national is one of the alleged middlemen being probed upon by the CBI over charges of organising bribes for Indian politicians and bureaucrats for the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal to materialise.
Bolstered by the recent Supreme Court order that declined any court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal, Modi said, “The people of the party that raises questions on surgical strikes, what can be expected of them?”
This was the prime minister’s first public meeting after the BJP lost the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the Congress. Modi also laid the foundation stone of some projects and inaugurated few others worth Rs 1,100 crore during his first visit to Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency. He also flagged off the 900th coach and Humsafar rake made by the Modern Coach Factory at Rae Bareli.
Later on Sunday, Modi also visited Prayagraj, where he accused the Congress of trying to destroy organisations that refused to work against the party’s will. In a veiled dig at the Grand Old Party, Modi said the Congress, which has ruled the country for the longest period, had always placed itself above the law, judiciary and even the country and worked only for its own benefits.
“The party has even tried to overpower judiciary since it always stood firmly against unjust practices,” Modi said. Terming Congress “anti-people”, the PM urged the citizens to be wary of such parties. “Beware of parties pretending to stand for democracy,” he said.
Inaugurating state-of-art command and control centre for 2019 Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (Allahabad), the prime minister talked about advanced infrastructural facilities for the festival. He also inaugurated a new terminal at Bamrauli Airport.
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