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‘Magician’ Modi can make even democracy disappear in India, says Rahul Gandhi

The Congress president took a jibe at PM Narendra Modi over disgraced businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya fleeing the country following accusations of fraud.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2018 21:21 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Jowai/Shillong
Meghalaya elections,PM Modi,Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi greets the crowd in Shillong during a Jan Sampark Programme on Wednesday ahead of Meghalaya assembly elections.(PTI Photo)

Taking a swipe at the prime minister over businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya fleeing the country following accusations of fraud, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi told his audience at a rally here on Wednesday that Narendra Modi is a ‘’great magician’’ who can make even democracy ‘’disappear’’.

‘’Scamsters like Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi magically disappeared from India and reappeared in foreign lands out of the reach of Indian law. Modiji’s magic can even make democracy disappear from India very soon,’’ he told an election rally at Jowai in poll-bound Meghalaya.

Polling for the 60-seat Meghalaya assembly will be held on February 27. The Congress has been in power in the state for three consecutive terms, and is eyeing a fourth under chief minister Mukul Sangma.

Hitting out at the NDA government at the Centre for the ‘’disappearance’’ of the three “scamsters’’, Gandhi said, “With the Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi scandals we know that this is a government that not only cannot remove corruption but is actively participating in it.’’

The prime minister wants to rule the entire country “at any cost’’ but cannot explain how Nirav Modi took Rs 22,000 crore and escaped to England, he added.

Reacting to Gandhi’s pronouncements, Meghalaya BJP chief Shibun Lyngdoh said: “The Congress doesn’t have any answer to lack of development in Meghalaya under their rule. Hence, Rahul Gandhi is making such statements to divert public attention from real issues. The alleged scams committed by people like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi happened during UPA rule at the Centre. Congress is insecure at this juncture as they feel they will lose Meghalaya. People are not going to get fooled by their propaganda and the non-Congress government will be formed in the state in few days.”

Gandhi earlier took part in a roadshow through the state capital that caused long traffic disruptions. He was accompanied by several Meghalaya legislators as well as Shillong MP Vincent Pala and Rajya Sabha MP for Meghalaya Wansuk Syiem.

The crux of his address was much the same as the one he delivered in Tura on Tuesday.

“The Congress Party is the spirit of freedom and it is the voice of millions and millions of people of this country and that is what we are defending here in Meghalaya because it doesn’t matter how strong they (BJP) are, we will defeat them,” Gandhi said.

He also repeated the allegation that the BJP had tried to woo Christians and the churches themselves by offering them money, terming the whole exercise as “disgusting”.

Gandhi said that while the Congress is inclusive and wants to celebrate the diversity of Meghalaya and the whole of India, the BJP believes “that the central idea should dominate all other ideas, cultures, languages, religions and this is really our central fight with them.”

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 18:50 IST