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After Sonia’s Janata Darbar, Rahul takes on PM

Launching a counter attack, Rahul Gandhi asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was mum on corruption charges against Amit Shah’s son.

lucknow Updated: Apr 19, 2018 15:38 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Sonia Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi,Janata Darbar
Sonia Gandhi with the family members of Unchahar SP MLA Manoj Kumar Pande at a grih pravesh (housewarming ceremony).(HT Photo)

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, along with her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, held a ‘Janata Darbar’ here on the second and last day of her visit to her Lok Sabha constituency amid reports that Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh and his two brothers would join the BJP in the presence of the ruling party chief Amit Shah here on April 21.

Sonia Gandhi reached Rae Bareli, her parliamentary constituency, on Tuesday evening after a gap of 20 months. Soon after arrival here, she inaugurated the Indian Medical Association (IMA) building. She inaugurated the passport office and chaired the district vigilance monitoring committee’s meeting as an MP on Wednesday. Janata Darbar was held at the Bhuemau guesthouse.

When he encountered the media outside the Indira Gandhi National Flying Academy before leaving for Delhi along with his mother, Rahul Gandhi avoided a direct reply to a question on the BJP national president’s proposed Rae Bareli visit on April 21 and the possibility of Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh, zila panchayat chairman Awadhesh Pratap Singh and Harchandpur MLA Rakesh Singh joining the BJP the same day.

Launching a counter attack, Rahul Gandhi asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was mum on corruption charges against Amit Shah’s son.

“There is flood of corruption in the country these days even as the prime minister has turned a blind eye to all this with the result that people like Nirav Modi are beyond arrest,” he said.

He said he would render the PM speechless if was allowed to speak just for 15 minutes in Parliament.

Rahul also held a ‘chaupal’ outside a dalit’s house at Nigohi village and met students at a government junior high school. He asked students about their experience of sitting on the ground in the school. He was also impressed with a student introducing himself in English.

SONIA VISITS SP LEADER’S HOUSE

RAE BARELI: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and former minister Manoj Kumar Pande’s new house, Neelam Mansion, to join the housewarming ceremony there. Pande had personally invited her on Tuesday.

Pande and her family welcomed the UPA chairperson with bouquets on her arrival at their new house where she briefly participated in the ‘puja’ and went upstairs for snacks. She stayed there for around 15 minutes. Pande’s wife Neelam Pande, who welcomed the UPA chairperson, is former vice chancellor of Maharishi University.

“Sonia ji took only a piece of chips and a piece of almond,” Manoj Kumar Pande said.

He said he had invited her to his new house as she represented Rae Bareli as an MP. “No political meaning should be attached and I am not going to join the Congress,” he said firmly. He said former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav would join a feast at his house on April 21. Pande represents Unchahar assembly constituency of Rae Bareli in the Vidhan Sabha.

(WITH INPUTS FROM MS MISRA IN RAE BARELI)

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 15:38 IST