Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched a strong attack on the BJP-led NDA government at the centre while speaking in Lok Sabha during the debate on the motion of No-Confidence. Leading his party’s attack on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the locus of Gandhi’s criticism.
Raising the issues of farm distress, loan waiver for industrialists, Indo-France Rafale jet deal, state of economy and employment and other policies of the Modi government.
“I have no hesitation in saying that… under pressure from the Prime Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman spoke untruth to the people. Who are being helped? Nirmala ji, PM ji, please tell the country…” he said.
Speaking for over an hour, Gandhi said, “Everybody understands the relationship the prime minister has with certain people. Everybody understands the amount of money that goes into the marketing of the prime minister and everybody knows who have funded that. One of those people was given the Rafale contract… The gentleman benefited to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore”.
An industrialist under a debt of Rs 35,000 crore was given a contract in the Rafale deal and he was benefitted to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore, the Congress President said, asking if the Cabinet Committee on Security took the decision. The contract was taken away from HAL, a PSU, he said.
Targeting the Prime Minister further, Rahul Gandhi said, “I can see him smiling. There is a touch of nervousness. He is looking away, not looking into my eyes…”.
Amid sharp and heated exchanges between the Congress and BJP members, Sitharaman was heard shouting that Gandhi was “misleading the House.” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar also accused him of making “defamatory” statement in violation of parliamentary rules. “Entire family does not care for the Constitution,” he said.
He also raised the alleged financial irregularities involving son of BJP president Amit Shah evoking sharp response from the treasury bench.
Shifting gears, Gandhi also talked of farm distress and said the Centre’s MSP hike will result in benefits of Rs 10,000 crore to farmers across the country, while the Karnataka government of the Congress-JD(S) alliance has given them farmers in the state benefits worth Rs 34,000 crore.
Raising the issue of women’s safety, Gandhi said for the first time in the history, India is being seen as a country in the world where women are not safe.
“Women, Dalits and minorities are being attacked across the country… Whenever an Indian is attacked, it is an attack on the Constitution and its architect BR Ambedkar, he said, adding “ministers are garlanding those accused of such crimes and talking of changing the Constitution”.
Obliquely criticising the ruling party further, the Congress president said, “I thank the BJP for making him understand the meaning of a Congressman, an Indian and a Hindu so that he can only have love for them,” he said.
At the near end of his speech, he once again criticised the top leadership of the BJP.
Modi and Shah were “different types of politicians” as they cannot afford to lose power unlike the Congress which is okay to losing it and being in and out of power. The BJP leaders have been acting “out of fear” as “other processes” will start if they lose power,” Gandhi said.
However, after a no-holds barred and scathing criticism of Prime Minister Modi, Gandhi walked across the green-carpeted Well of Lok Sabha to Prime Minister Modi and hugged him, a gesture which took everyone in the House by surprise.
PM Modi too called Rahul Gandhi and shook hands with him again and patted his back.
(With inputs from PTI)