‘PM Modi an instrument of 5-6 big rich businessmen’: Rahul Gandhi in Kerala | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘PM Modi an instrument of 5-6 big rich businessmen’: Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

Apr 16, 2024 03:53 PM IST

“PM Narendra Modi is trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet -- the electoral bond scheme,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, alleging that Modi is “an instrument of 5-6 big rich businessmen of India”. 

FILE PHOTO: Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, gestures as he addresses the media during the party's manifesto release event ahead of the general election, in New Delhi, India, April 5, 2024. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, gestures as he addresses the media during the party's manifesto release event ahead of the general election, in New Delhi, India, April 5, 2024. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo(REUTERS)

Gandhi also criticised the electoral bond system, calling it a way to pressure people. He said that powerful government agencies like the CBI, ED, and Income Tax Department are used to intimidate businessmen.

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In an election campaign in Kerala's Kozhikode, Rahul Gandhi said: “There are some people in every small town or village who extort money on the streets by threatening physical harm. In Malayalam you call this extortion 'kolla adikkal' (loot), but Modi calls it electoral bonds. What a common thief is doing on the streets, the PM is doing at an international level.”

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Gandhi accused the BJP-led central government of employing "sophisticated" methods to intimidate specific businessmen. "At the electoral bond level, the threats are much more sophisticated. The ED, CBI and Income Tax people will come, they will interrogate and at the end of it, they will say why don't you give this (their business) to Adani," the sitting Congress MP from Wayanad LS constituency alleged.

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He claimed that this is how Adani acquired the Mumbai airport from its previous owner. Gandhi further alleged that in other cases, similar coercive tactics resulted in businessmen giving funds to the BJP through electoral bonds. “In his interview, he was trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet -- the electoral bond scheme through which the BJP got thousands of crores of rupees by extorting India's businessmen,” the Wayanad MP said during his address to party supporters and the large crowd gathered for his roadshow in Kodiyathur, Kozhikode district.

PM Modi, in an interview with ANI, defended the accusations against electoral bonds.

ALSO READ- PM Modi accuses Opposition of spreading lies on electoral bonds scheme: 'Everyone will regret it’

He said that out of the 3,000 companies contributing through the electoral bond scheme, 26 underwent scrutiny by investigative agencies like the ED. He added that 16 of these companies purchased bonds during ongoing investigations. "Among these 16 companies, 37 per cent of the funds went to the BJP, while 63 per cent went to opposition parties," he clarified.

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