Ramadurga (Karnataka): Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring the “super rich” and questioned why he had still not appointed a Lokpal to fight corruption. Gandhi, who has been targeting Modi in all public rallies in poll-bound Karnataka, also quizzed Modi over his “silence” on issues such as the Punjab National Bank fraud.
“In Gujarat, Modi ji did not implement Lokayukta. It has been four years since he became prime minister… He did not implement Lokpal even in Delhi,” he said. The Congress president said Modi, who had described himself as the country’s “chowkidar” (watchman), was silent on the fraud and the alleged increase in the turnover of a company owned by BJP president Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah.
“The country’s chowkidar comes to Karnataka and speaks about corruption with his chief minister (former chief minister Yeddyurappa) who had been to jail on one side and on the other side four ministers who also went to jail during the BJP rule,” he said, addressing a rally here. “Nudidante nade” (practise what you preach),” he urged Modi, quoting 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara from Karnataka.
Gandhi, who is on the second leg of his three-day tour of the northern parts of Karnataka, said, “Modiji… nudidante nade. The country has not made you prime minister just to give speeches.” Gandhi said diamantaire Nirav Modi had taken away crores of rupees “belonging to” India’s poor. “Nirav Modi took away Rs 22,000 crore belonging to India’s farmers, labourers and the poor, but our chowkidar does not utter a word,” he said. In his first remarks on the Rs 11,400-crore fraud in India’s second-biggest PSU bank, Prime Minister Modi had on Friday warned of strict action against those involved in financial irregularities and said the loot of public money would not be tolerated.
Attacking the prime minister on GST, which the Congress president has been calling “Gabbar Singh Tax”, Gandhi said whatever was in the common man’s pocket had been taken away, lakhs of businesses shut and lakhs of people had suffered losses. “But one person runs a magical new business… Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah within three months converts Rs 50,000 to Rs 80 crore, but the chowkidar does not utter a word,” he alleged.