Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday upped the ante against the government on the demonetisation issue when he alleged he had information about “personal corruption” involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He made the statement while briefing the media along with a delegation of opposition party leaders at the Central Hall in Parliament. Speaking to reporters, Gandhi said, “We are pretty much unconditionally ready for a debate in Parliament. The government is not allowing me to speak. I have personal information about PM Modi’s corruption. He is personally terrified. He cannot run away from the House. He has taken a decision against the poor of the country. He owes the country an explanation.”
This sensational claim by the Congress leader comes a day after he alleged there will be an “earthquake” if he is allowed to speak on demonetisation in the Lok Sabha. Although the government said it was ready for a debate and even indicated PM Modi might speak in Lok Sabha, proceedings were disrupted yet again today as the House got adjourned for the day.
When asked about the kind of information he has, Gandhi said, “That information is personal information
about Narendra Modiji which I want to state in Lok Sabha. It is personal corruption of the Prime Minister that I have, we have detailed information about. We want to present it, which the Prime Minister is not allowing us to speak.”
The BJP, however, dismissed the allegation as “false and baseless”. Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar while rejecting as “baseless” the allegation levelled against the prime minister said they were made out of “desperation” and “frustration” and asked Gandhi to apologise.
After Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, the opposition too charged the PM with running away from debate in Parliament on demonetisation saying the Parliamentary system was under “threat”. Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal asked Gandhi to expose the prime minister if he actually has the documents. “If Rahul Gandhi actually has papers on Modi ji’s personal involvement in corruption, then why doesn’t he expose it outside Parl?” Kejriwal had tweeted.
If Rahul Gandhi actually has papers on Modi ji’s personal involvement in corruption, then why doesn’t he expose it outside Parl? https://t.co/5xc2WkCd5B
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 14, 2016
BSP supremo Mayawati slammed the government saying they were not ready for demonetisation and it was hasty decision. She also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue, saying he was speaking everywhere except for Parliament as he lacked strength to address the House.
Trinamool Congress also said the entire Parliamentary system was facing a “threat” as government was not allowing the House to function smoothly and the opposition to speak. TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, “We cannot understand why so much arrogance on the part of the government. The voice of the opposition is being gagged,” he said. Bandyopadhyay added that the government was spreading the rumour that after Rahul Gandhi has spoken, the opposition will not allow the House to function.
Meanwhile, the CPI-M said the government is not willing to answer questions, adding that all 16 parties came together on the issue of demonetisation and wanted a discussion on the issue, but the government was now allowing that to happen. “Government is not willing to answer questions. The Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament but has not come to the Lok Sabha. It is very clear that they are not ready to answer the questions raised. The Prime Minister is running away from Parliament which means he is running away from people,” he said.
Reactions came in from the NCP camp too, with leader Tariq Anwar saying that for the first time an atmosphere had been created where the opposition was not allowed to speak. “It is a conspiracy by the government. The entire opposition is united. What is the government fearing from. We are all united. Let us be allowed to speak,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)