PM hurls missile on Gandhis
On the last day of campaigning in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seized on Christian Michel's extradition to corner the Congress.
The Congress said it was a smear campaign against its leadership, as the BJP was staring at defeats in state elections.
Modi raised the issue at his rallies, saying his government had brought Michel to India and that the British citizen served politicians and held many secrets.
When he reveals his secrets, things will go very far, he said, adding that it was a big scam of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) era.
The government, he said, had brought Michel from Dubai. "He served politicians and will now disclose secrets. Let's see how far this goes," the PM said. "The entire family is shivering. The 'raazdar' (one who hides secrets) will speak up and they don't know whose name he will disclose. It was a matter of thousands of crore so they are in a state of panic," he said.
Taking on the Gandhi family a day after the Supreme Court ordered IT cases against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to be reopened, Modi said that his government had scored a win thanks to the courage of a chaiwala. "Now I will see how you escape," he said.
At a press conference in Jaipur later, BJP president Amit Shah also asked the Congress to clear its stand on the issue and wondered if the Opposition wanted to save Michel. "I want to know whether any middleman should be arrested or not? What does the Opposition want? Does it want to save them?"
He was responding to the Opposition's charge that the extradition was a move to divert attention from other issues.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi responded by saying that his has made its position "very very clear" in this matter earlier at a news conference.
"The Prime Minister should explain the payment of Rs 30,000 crore to industrialist Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal with France," he said.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also said in Hyderabad that while the BJP and PM Modi are seeking "fake credit" He alleged that the statement of Michel's lawyer Rosemary Patrizi Dos Anjos after the former's detention in July had clearly brought out that the Modi government and its agencies were forcing him to sign a false confessional statement, naming UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in return for a complete exoneration from any charge whatsoever in the case.
- With inputs from PTI
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