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Rahul Gandhi must substantiate corruption charge against PM

It is not as though Mr Modi has not been attacked. He has been, but many of them did not wash with the people.

opinion Updated: Dec 14, 2016 17:40 IST
Uddalok Bhattacharya
File photo of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi(PTI)

A direct attack on the Prime Minister –– in the way Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption –– is something that has happened after more than two decades. In the nineties the then prime minister, PV Narasimha Rao, faced at least three corruption charges, including one from his friend Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After that there has not been accusation against any prime minister even though many governments, including the one that Manmohan Singh, a man respected for his probity, led have come under a cloud.

Read | Read my lips… I’ve information on PM Modi’s personal corruption: Rahul Gandhi

It is not as though Mr Modi has not been attacked. He has been, but many of them did not wash with the people. But the novelty this time round is that it has come from Mr Gandhi, and at a press conference in Parliament at that. Of course three years ago Mr Gandhi had called the BJP a “party of thieves” but there was no personal attack on anyone.

Mr Modi will no doubt respond to Mr Gandhi’s charges. He should, since his party over the past 30 years has brought charges against members of Mr Gandhi’s family. Most of them did not amount to anything because in 2004, the Delhi High Court acquitted Rajiv Gandhi, 13 years after his death, of any wrongdoing in the Bofors case.

It is also a fact that charges have been brought against clean people, such as Oommen Chandy, former chief minister of Kerala, who faced allegations of having caused a loss to the state exchequer in the solar panel scam. But the irony of it is that the charges came from a person who was accused in the case.

So it’s not enough to bring charges against a person. One must be able to substantiate them.