Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, under pressure from the BJP to substantiate his dramatic corruption charges against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is exploring a choice of forums to make his revelation, including holding a high-profile press conference.
Gandhi has said he was being prevented by the government from revealing in Parliament details of Modi’s alleged wrongdoings. But the BJP has rubbished that claim, saying he has the option to speak outside the House.
Congress sources said Gandhi has a choice of platforms to make his announcement such as holding a public rally or issuing a detailed statement, although there was no indication yet from the Congress vice president on what he would prefer. The question is which one would be the most effective, they said.
On Wednesday, when party MP Shashi Tharoor asked Gandhi if he could share the information about “personal corruption” of the PM, the latter replied he would do so at the “appropriate” forum, which is Parliament.
“If that does not happen then we will explore alternative options,” the Congress vice president told Tharoor.
The Congress is also ginning up plans to leverage “public anger” over the government’s surprise recall of high-value banknotes, which has unleashed a severe cash crunch for millions of Indians, especially the poor who live in the cash economy.
Gandhi will embark on a nationwide tour against the demonetisation move after the Winter session of Parliament ends on Friday. Fatorda in Goa will be Gandhi’s first pit-stop on Friday. The next day he will travel to Belagavi in Karnataka and address two public meetings in Jaunpur and Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh on December 19 and 22.
The Congress leader takes his battle to Modi’s backyard when he addresses a rally at Mehsana, Gujarat on December 21.
“He will be highlighting as to why people are not permitted to withdraw their own hard earned money,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
“Are all those standing in bank and ATM queues black money hoarders as projected by the PM, his ministers and BJP chief ministers?” he asked.
Modi has sought 50 days (till December 30) to ride out the cash crisis. The Congress plans to assess the situation in the first week of January.