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Nov 23, 2019-Saturday



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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

‘Scared? Let’s go open book’: Rahul Gandhi dares PM Modi to a debate on corruption

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a debate with him on the issue of corruption.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 09, 2019 14:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses at a public rally earlier this week.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses at a public rally earlier this week.(ANI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday threw an “open book” challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting him for a debate. Taking a jibe at PM Modi saying that he is “scared”, Gandhi listed three topics for a political debate.

“Dear PM, scared of debating me on corruption? I can make it easier for you. Let’s go open book, so you can prepare: 1. RAFALE+Anil Ambani, 2. Nirav Modi, 3. Amit Shah+Demonetisation.”

Gandhi has been attacking the prime minister alleging that he has benefited industrialist Anil Ambani in Rafale deal and played an instrumental role in “securing a Rs 30,000 contract” for Reliance Defence, a firm that is an offset partner of the Dassault Aviation.

The Dassault Aviation is a French firm that has got the contract for the supply of 36 Rafale fighter jets to Indian Air Force under an intergovernmental agreement signed between India and France. The Rafale deal was signed in 2016.

Gandhi has alleged that PM Modi got the original Rafale deal that was being negotiated during the Congress-led UPA regime scrapped to facilitate entry of Anil Ambani’s firm in entire process.

The Congress president has also targeted PM Modi over Rs 14,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud alleging that the BJP-led NDA government has been soft on main accused in the case Nirav Modi, a diamond businessman with global footprint.

PM Modi, on the other hand, has attacked the Congress over PNB fraud case saying that the scam could take place because of the previous UPA government’s failure to tackle corruption. Referring to extradition proceedings against Nirav Modi in the UK, PM Modi recently said that everyone who looted the public money will be accounted for.

Demonetisation, announced in November 2016, has been another bone of contention between the Congress and the Modi government. Gandhi often refers to demonetisation as a scam while PM Modi in a recent interview to the Hindustan, a sister concern of the Hindustan Times, called it a necessary step taken in national interest at the cost of political arithmetic.