Under attack from the Gandhi family through Saturday, the BJP’s Narendra Modi fought back by alleging a person “close to 10, Janpath” — Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence — was in touch with a controversial meat exporter who was being investigated by the income tax department.
BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addresses a public rally in Lakhimpur. (Shadab Raza/ HT photo)
The PM candidate also accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi of “competing with each other to lie”, telling a rally in Surat: “If mother tells one lie, the son tells two. If the son tells two, the mother tells three.” This was in response to Sonia and Rahul’s attacks on his Gujarat model of development.
Attempting to drag the Gandhis into a fresh controversy, Modi said during his 3D hologram address shown live at various locations, “Phone conversations intercepted by the I-T department features a person talking to the meat exporter who has close links to 10, Janpath… Will you please tell, Soniaji, who is this person who frequents your house and whose name figures in the conversation with the exporter?” He added that “people occupying high positions in the government also feature in the tapes”.
Modi’s comment was an oblique reference to a Delhi-based meat exporter who is alleged to be a hawala operator. Senior I-T sources confirmed a survey was conducted at the exporter’s properties in Mehrauli and UP in February. They said an inquiry was on.
Modi also accused the “ma-beta ki sarkar” of shielding Hasan Ali, a Pune-based stud farm owner accused of tax evasion. “Last year, Supreme Court directed the Centre to form a special investigation team (SIT) to probe black money... but they failed to set up the SIT.”
To “Rahul bhaiyya”, Modi said, “Remember, you will also have to give answers on why your government could not check inflation, address jobless growth… Don’t run away from giving a reply.”