Rafale deal will be probed after polls, ‘chowkidar’ will go to jail: Rahul Gandhi

Nagpur: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said that if his party comes to power after the Lok Sabha polls, there will be a probe into the Rafale jet deal and the “chowkidar will go to jail”, in a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He alleged that the Prime Minister changed the Rafale purchase deal, which led to price increase.

Each fighter aircraft was worth Rs 536 crore but was bought at Rs 1600 crore a piece, Gandhi said.

“There will be an inquiry and the ‘chowkidar’ will go to jail,” he said addressing a rally here on Thursday.

“Have you ever seen a chowkidar outside a labourer’s house? No, the chowkidars are found outside Anil Ambani’s house, thousands of chowkidars are in front of his house for guarding the money that is stolen. Earlier, it was the slogan ‘aache din ayenge, but in 4 years it got converted into ‘chowkidar chor hai’ in front of all,” the Congress leader said.

“And he has not stolen any small amount, I tell you there will be an inquiry after the elections…Inside jail there will be another chowkidar and outside jail there are other chowkidars,” he said.

‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign was launched on March 16 by Prime Minister Modi. A day after the launch, the Prime Minister, as well as a number of BJP leaders across the country, added the prefix ‘chowkidar’ to their Twitter handles as a mark of support to the poll campaign.

Gandhi accused Modi of lying to the people, claiming that the Prime Minister is doing so as “he is ageing” and “wants to do everything in haste”.

Talking about himself, the Congress chief said that he “will not lie” to the public as he wants to have a “long-term relationship” with them.

“In 2014, he (PM Modi) made a lot of promises. He promised jobs for 2 crore youth, Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts. But now the truth has come out in front of all. I speak the truth because I want a long-term relationship with you. I want to work with you for 10, 15, 20 years. Hence, I will not lie with you. Modi ji is ageing and is panicky and so he wants to do everything in haste. Therefore he lies,” he said at the rally.

While the Prime Minister only makes “false promises”, the Congress party does work, he added.

On the minimum income guarantee programme of ‘nyuntam aay yojana (NYAY) promised by Congress, Gandhi said his party decided on the scheme as “(PM) Modi had made a false promise” about depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts.

“We thought we should try to fulfill it. I did not know how much money can be deposited in a person’s bank account.

I asked economists to give me a number. I asked them as to how much money we can deposit in the bank accounts of poor without harming India’s economy,” he said.

Describing NYAY as the “surgical strike” on poverty, he gave the example of Arjun, a central character from epic Mahabharata.

“Just like Arjun had focused only on the eye of the fish, I have seen my target and will hit it with my arrow,” Gandhi said.

Nagpur Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. He will be contesting against Congress’ Nana Patole who quit BJP to join Congress last year.

Maharashtra will vote in the first four phases of the general elections on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.