Modi gave ‘political campaign speech’, needs to break silence on Rafale: Rahul

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his long “political campaign speech” in the Lok Sabha, and wondered when he will break his silence on the Rafale deal, and also took a poetic jibe at him.

“The speech of Saheb (Modi) was very long. In the House he termed day as night. He hid his failures. It was saddening that the real issues of the country were missing in his speech. When will the Prime Minister break his silence, and when will he finally speak on the Rafale deal?” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

Gandhi was referring to the over one and half-hour long speech of Modi in Lok Sabha in which he fiercely attacked the Congress, during his reply on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Speech.

Earlier, the Congress President speaking to media outside Parliament said the Prime Minister should answer to the nation on the Rafale deal, farmers issues and on employment generation, instead of questioning the opposition Congress.

“Today we wanted to hear the speech of the Prime Minister. We had two-three questions. One issue that we raised was related to Andhra Pradesh while the other which we have raised a number of times is that there is something wrong in the Rafale deal,” he said.

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“He asked three questions from us while speaking for over one hour. But he didn’t speak a single word about the Rafale deal instead he made a political campaign speech,” he alleged.

He said that Modi was silent on the real issues of the country like unemployment.

“He (Modi) is talking about Bengal, Karnataka. But he is not speaking on his promise of giving two crore jobs a year as only 450 people are getting jobs in every 24 hours. He didn’t utter a single word about it. He didn’t speak about the farmers issue, giving minimum support price to farmers, to waive off their farm loans, but he was speaking about bees and bamboos,” he said.

The Congress President said that the Prime Minister should have spoken about the welfare of farmers.

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Hitting out at Modi, Gandhi said, “Every time there is a speech about the Congress party and its leaders. Modiji, there are three-four issues that we have been raising every time and you should speak about those.”

Questioning Modi again about the Rafale deal, Gandhi asked, “Was there any theft in the Rafale deal? Please answer in yes or no. He should clearly tell the nation that after he changed the contract after visiting Paris.

“Did you consult the cabinet committee on security? Yes or No. And how much have you paid for each aircraft?” he asked.

The Congress leader also attacked Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and said, “She says that we won’t tell the country about the deal. This is the country’s biggest defence deal and she is saying that we won’t tell the nation about it as it is a secret.”

“We just want to know did you yourself change the deal? Did you give more money or less? And did you take the permission from the cabinet committee or not?” he asked.

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“The questions are very simple, but we are not getting answers,” he said.

Taking a dig at Modi, Gandhi said, “The Prime Minister used to talk about curbing corruption. Corruption has happened in the Rafale deal but he is saving those who are involved in corruption.”

Gandhi said that he can understand that before 2014 Modi was blaming the Congress for everything, but even after being in power for four years he was still questioning the opposition instead of giving answers to the people from the floor of the House.

“I can understand that before 2014, the Prime Minister was talking about the 70 years of Congress rule. But today, the BJP is in government, Modi is the Prime Minister, not opposition,” the Congress President said.

“He can talk about this in a public meeting, but in Parliament, you have to answer to the country,” he said.

Modi also blamed the former governments under the Congress for not doing enough for the progress of the country, and said India is lagging behind because of them.

–IANS

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