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Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya the only exports under PM Modi’s watch: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said the only business to flourish after the note ban was that of BJP president Amit Shah’s son, which grew from Rs 50,000 to Rs 80 crore within months.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2018 23:27 IST
Rahul Gandhi,Nirav Modi,Lalit Modi
AICC president Rahul Gandhi speaks during his Janashirvada Yatra in Srirangapatna town.(PTI File Photo)

The central government has failed the economy and the country’s sole exports on the Prime Minister’s watch were billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Sunday.

In his fourth visit to Congress-ruled and poll-bound Karnataka since February, Gandhi took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that he is the chowkidar, or guard, of the nation against corruption.

“Only one thing is being exported: Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya. Someone takes Rs 10,000 crore, another takes Rs 22,000 crore, but the chowkidaar only watches,” the Congress leader said at a rally in Mysuru after inducting seven former Janata Dal (Secular) lawmakers into the party.

“ Modi has destroyed the banking system. This is just the beginning, now you’ll see how many will leave this country. And Modi knows all of them,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi said the only business to flourish after the note ban was that of BJP president Amit Shah’s son, which grew from Rs 50,000 to Rs 80 crore within months. “When the PM talks of corruption, he doesn’t look at his own cabinet, his ministers and chief ministers,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to respond to the Congress chief’s accusations. BJP leader S Suresh Kumar said it was Gandhi who was running out of the country every time he faced a setback.

He was referring to a 53-day sabbatical Gandhi took during the first quarter of 2015 after the Congress’s loss in the 2014 parliamentary elections.

“Mahatma Gandhi had said the Congress should be dissolved after Independence, it looks like Rahul Gandhi is working hard to achieve this,” Kumar, a former state law minister, said.

The Congress president alleged that Prime Minister Modi is peddling lies. “He promised two crore jobs a year if he came to power. But the country is seeing the highest unemployment over the past eight years,” Gandhi said in his 30-minute address delivered in Hindi, which was translated into Kannada.

He also accused the Modi government of stalling no-confidence motions moved against it in Parliament, and alleged that the Prime Minister has ruined the nation’s banking system and the economy through policies such as the 2016 ban on two high-value banknotes.

On March 16, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party had moved no-trust motions over a demand for special category status to Andhra Pradesh. It wasn’t taken up. The Congress tabled on Friday a notice for no-confidence motion, which was not taken up either because of disruptions in the Lok Sabha.

“The Modi government is stalling the no-confidence motion as it is scared,” Gandhi said.

He also targeted the JD(S) during his fourth leg of the Congress’s Janashirvada Yatra. “The JD(S) is in the middle and has no ideology. They need to clarify if they’re with the Sangh and capitalists,” he said.

JD(S) leader and the former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy reacted sharply to Gandhi’s comments, saying the attack on his party indicates that the Congress is losing support.

“The Congress is drowning and it needed a truly secular leader, but it is their misfortune that they have chosen a political novice as their leader,” he said.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 23:27 IST