New Delhi :Unfazed by the BJP offensive on his family in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he lacked guts and challenged him to bring back to India former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi who he described as the “biggest link” between the political system and black money.
Keeping up the pressure on the issue of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s help to London-based Modi to obtain British travel documents, the Congress Vice President said that she had given “long statements” in the Lok Sabha yesterday but had not anwsered why she had helped the fugitive wanted in India by enforcement agencies.
In a hard-hitting response to the Congress demand that she should resign for “misusing” her office to help a fugitive, Swaraj launched a counter attack in the Lok Sabha telling Rahul to ask his “mamma” as to “How much money had been taken from (Ottavia) Quattrocchi?”, an accused in the Bofors gun scam.
Rahul was also told to ask “why did ‘daddy’ (late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi) get released the killer of 15,000 people (in Bhopal gas leak),” an apparent reference to Bhopal gas leak accused Warren Anderson.
Dismissing her charges, Rahul told reporters that his father’s name been cleared by the judicial system in the Bofors case but the matter has been going on for 30 years with the opposition keeping on attacking him. He said such such charges made no difference to him as the judicial system in the country gave a statement that this was a campaign against Rajiv Gandhi and that there was nothing in this.
Rahul said he would “defend” the country from the RSS and Narendra Modi, reminding journalists that three TV channels had been issued notices by the government recently.
“It(Swaraj attack) makes no difference to me. I am here to defend the country from the RSS and (Narendra) Modi,” he said, adding, “When your(media) views clash with their (government) views, your mikes will be shut.”
Alleging that Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had defended “black money network” in Parliament yesterday, Rahul charged that Lalit Modi was the “biggest link” between the political system and black money.
Daring the prime minister to catch hold Lalit Modi and bring him back to India, Rahul said that, “we have understood that this prime minister gets scared and we will keep attacking and build so much pressure on the prime minister that Lalit Modi will come back.”
Calling the entire controversy around him as “politically motivated,” Lalit Modi took a dig at Rahul saying the Congress leader should not bother about him but should worry about his brother-in law Robert Vadra. “An entire Parliament session is stalled on me, what else is it but politics?,” he said yesterday.
The Congress leader also referred to the climbdown of the government on the Land Bill issue, saying the prime minister ran away when the Congress began its fight on this matter.
“We had lost the elections and I felt he had guts. But now I am feeling that this man does not have any guts.”
“We were stuck over the Land Bill issue. I thought it would be a tough fight. We have 40 (MPs), and the other side, more than 200 (MPs). But when the battle was waged and pressure increased, (PM) Modi-ji turned around and started running. It’s a reality, he fled,” he added.