Hours after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi targeted the Prime Minister, the BJP struck back Thursday, accusing the Congress leadership of making attempts to divide the country on communal lines. It alleged that attempts to “polarise” society were being “prompted by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi”.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who earlier this week alleged that Rahul had declared himself a British national in documents before company law authorities in the UK, also mounted a fresh attack.
Swamy told reporters in Ahmedabad that he had written to the Prime Minister seeking a probe by the CBI or the Enforcement Directorate since there was “possibility” of the Congress vice president receiving kickbacks in a defence contract.
In New Delhi, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain slammed Rahul for his attack on the RSS and for drawing a parallel with the SIMI: “He (Rahul) feels that after Bihar, society can be polarised.”
At a press conference, Hussain sought to drag Rahul and Sonia Gandhi into the row over remarks made by certain Congress leaders against the government.
“It looks as if Congress leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Salman Khurshid and Shakeel Ahmad are being prompted by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.”
Criticising Ahmad for his tweet that had gangster Chhota Rajan and ULFA leader Anup Chetia been Muslims then the Modi government would have a different narrative, Hussain said the Congress viewed even terrorists through a communal prism.
“The Congress started an unfounded debate over tolerance and intolerance before the Bihar elections. Now it is trying to divide the country on communal lines. It should stop its attempt to put communal colour to every issue for polarisation… Its leader and former foreign minister (Khurshid) humiliated the Prime Minister and Aiyar went to Pakistan and talked about sabotaging Modi. Shakeel Ahmad’s remark is shocking. A criminal is punished for his crimes on the basis of provisions in the Constitution, not on the basis of his religion,” Hussain said, adding that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi should break their silence and state if Ahmad’s statement was the Congress line.
Meanwhile, Subramanian Swamy sought a probe into the “possibility” of Rahul Gandhi receiving kickbacks in a defence contract for submarine parts.
“I have written a new letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling him that Backops Ltd… based in England needs to be probed,” Swamy told a press conference in Ahmedabad.
“There are two firms by the name of Backops. One has been set up in England and the second is based in Mumbai in the name of Backops Services in 2002. After five-six years, shares of the firm were transferred by Rahul Gandhi in the name of Priyanka Gandhi. She also ran the firm for another two-three years before it was closed down. This Mumbai-based firm has been declared by Rahul in his affidavit filed before the Election Commission. But details of the firm set up in England in 2003 were not disclosed,” Swamy alleged.
“So with this firm in England, they established connections with other firms… they have taken bribes in defence contracts,” he alleged.
He claimed another director of Backops Ltd, Ulrik Robert Mcknight, was a friend of Rahul Gandhi who with two other “personal friends” of the Congress vice president floated a new Indian company. This company and a French firm, he alleged, got a contract to supply submarine parts in 2012. “This needs to be probed. What kind of expertise this firm had, why did it get the contract,” Swamy told reporters.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, he wrote: “While I do not have the complete picture, the material enclosed are sufficient prima facie value to order an investigation by the CBI/Enforcement Directorate with Mr Rahul Gandhi as the principal accused.”
Later in the day, Swamy, responding to Rahul’s statement, said: “If the allegations are proved, whether he (Rahul) is ready or not, the police will come and take him without his permission. If he is interested in proper investigation, then he should submit to us the documents, which was submitted by him to the British government’s registrar of companies… He is a third-class man… such irrelevant speech from an uneducated fellow is expected.”