IN A no-holds-barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called him a “darpok (coward)” and said “fear” is writ large on his face nowadays. Challenging him to a five-minute debate on any issue, Rahul said Modi would “run away”.
Addressing a convention organised by the AICC’s minority department, Rahul also accused the government of trying to place an “RSS man” in all the institutions of the country, including the judicial system and Election Commission.
“Have you seen Narendra Modi on TV? Truth cannot be hidden. If you look at him carefully, you can see fear on his face. Narendra Modi has realised that he cannot run the country by dividing India and spreading hatred. India’s Prime Minister should always work for uniting India, and if he does not do that, people will remove him,” said Rahul.
“It used to be said five years ago that Narendra Modi has a 56-inch chest and he will rule for 15 years. Today, the Congress party has torn Modi’s reputation to shreds,” he said.
Referring to the Doklam standoff, he said China had sent troops to Doklam to test Modi. “And what did Narendra Modi do? He took a flight to Beijing and held a no-agenda meeting with the Chinese government. The Chinese government understood in two minutes that leave alone 56 inches, he doesn’t even have a four-inch chest. He folded his hands before China. And he talks about national security. I am telling you his character. I have been fighting with him for the last five years…. I have understood him,” said Rahul.
He said the Prime Minister will run away if he has to engage in a debate with him on any issue, including national security and the Rafale deal. “He will not be able to stand, because Narendra Modi has betrayed the nation, the youth and the farmers,” he said.
“He will run away if he is made to stand on a stage for 10 minutes for a debate with me… I want to say he is a darpok (coward)… I have recognised him. He gets scared when he faces someone who says I will not back off… he backs off,” said Rahul, walking away from the mike for visual effect.
Rahul said the 2019 battle was for saving the Constitution. “That is the battlefield. The RSS wants to sidestep the Constitution. RSS wants to run the country from Nagpur,” he said.
He alleged that while Modi was the face of the government, the remote control was with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. “If the CBI chief want to order a probe against Narendra Modi, he is removed and an RSS man is put in his place. Their aim is to finish off every institution in this country, and they want the country to be run from Nagpur,” he said.
He said his party’s government in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh would “ensure that RSS people put in institutions in these states are removed”. He said “Hindustan’s bureaucracy” should know that they are not RSS’s bureaucracy but the country’s bureaucracy, and they should not work for any particular organisation.
Rahul emphasised that India does not belong to any particular caste, religion, state or language. Recalling the contributions made by Vikram Sarabhai, Verghese Kurien, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said “our minorities have always played a role in building this nation.”
Later, after chairing a meeting of AICC general secretaries and in-charges of states, Rahul again targeted Modi. Asked about Modi attacking him in Lok Sabha, he said: “The Prime Minister has helped steal Rs 30,000 crore from the defence forces. He has handed that money to Anil Ambani and he has done it personally. Please keep what I am saying in mind. The Prime Minister has helped steal Rs 30,000 crore from the defence forces and he has done in personally. Remember what I said.”