: In an aggressive speech, with oodles of sarcasm thrown in, more reminiscent of his election campaign speeches in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today equated opponents of ‘note ban’ of trying to shield the corrupt, just as Pakistan starts firing on Indian border posts to distract Indian Army so that infiltrators can sneak into Jammu and Kashmir under its cover.
The PM also attacked Congress leadership, particularly former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Questioning the former PM’s integrity, Modi expressed surprise that there was no blot on Singh even when he has been part of India’s economic policy think tank since the early-1970s.
The PM was speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Centre in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency. Modi said when he announced ‘note ban’ decision he didn’t think it was possible that politicians and political parties would be so unashamed as to come out openly to defend the corrupt.
“Now I understand for whose benefit these protests (by the opposition) are taking place,” he said. Apart from likening the opposition to Pakistan, he also said his opponents reminded him of a gang of pickpockets at work at a village or town fair. He said the disruptions in Parliament during the winter session was to alert and protect the corrupt. Modi said when a pickpocket is at work in a village fair his associate distracts the police by misleading them and shouting that the pickpocket has fled in the other direction. “This is exactly the strategy being employed now to protect the corrupt,” the PM said at the event at the Banaras Hindu University.
The PM’s comments come a day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi demanded at a public rally in Mehsana in Gujarat that he come clean on allegations that he had received over Rs 40 crore in cash payments from individuals associated with the Sahara India Group and Aditya Birla Group when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The BJP rubbished the allegations, and said these stem from the Congress Vice President’s frustration at successive electoral defeats.()