Rahul slams PM on Rafale, says didn't coin 'chowkidar' slogan

PTI
Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Bhind (PTI): Alleging Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out parallel negotiations with France for the Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused him of insulting the martyrs by "committing a theft" in the multi-crore defence contract. 

Gandhi said Modi is looking "depressed" these days as he has sensed he is going to lose the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, whose last phase will be held on May 19. 

Bhind (PTI): Alleging Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out parallel negotiations with France for the Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused him of insulting the martyrs by "committing a theft" in the multi-crore defence contract. 

Gandhi said Modi is looking "depressed" these days as he has sensed he is going to lose the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, whose last phase will be held on May 19. 

"Officials of the Indian Air Force wrote that Narendra Modi held parallel negations with France. Chowkidar was holding direct dialogue with the manufacturer of Rafale Dassault...Chowkidar now explain to the country why you committed a theft?" he said at an election rally here. 

He continued, "Jab Aapne (Modi) Chori Ki Thi, Tab Aapke Dil me Kaun Si Bhawana Thi? Tab Aapne Socha Ki Aap Bhind Ke Yuvaon Se Rojgar Chhin Rahe Ho. Nahi. Tab Aapne Socha Aap Shaheedo Ka Apmaan Kar Rahe ho, Nahi. Ye Batein Aapne Nahi Sochi. Magar Narendra Modi ji, Nyay se Koi Nahi Bach Sakta. (What was your feeling when you were committing theft. Did you think that you are snatching jobs from the youths of Bhind? No. Did you think that you are insulting the martyrs? No. You did not think this. But, Narendra Modi ji, nobody can escape justice.) 

He alleged the country's youths lost job opportunities after the Modi government decided to buy Rafale jets built in France instead of manufacturing them in India. 

"Youths of Bhind secure the country...several youths of Bhind figure in the list of martyrs. Narendra Modi has taken Rs 30,000 crore from the youths of Bhind and put it into the account of (industrialist) Anil Ambani," he said. 

In the past, Ambani has denied any government role in his company, Reliance Defence, bagging offset contract related to the Rafale deal. 

The Congress chief said, "The Rafale deal would have given jobs to the country's youths but Narendra Modi did not give the contract to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)." 

He claimed the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had no clue about the Rafale deal. 

"When asked by friends in the press about the new contract given to Anil Ambani, Parrikar ji had said `I don't know anything...this work has been done by Narendra Modi ji...ask him'," the Congress leader said. 

Gandhi said the "chowkidar chor hai" slogan has not been coined by the Congress or him but by the youths and labourers of the country. 

The Congress leader has repeatedly hurled "chowkidar chor hai" (the watchman is a thief) jibe at Modi to target him over the Rafale deal. 

"Mediapersons asked me today about the genesis of the chowkidar chor hai slogan. I told them that while addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh, I said the chowkidar promised two crore jobs to the youth and assured Rs 15 lakh will be deposited in the bank account of each Indian. 

"Around 10-15 young men in the rally said 'chor hai'. "I did not hear it the first time. So I asked (the young men) what did you say? They said 'chor hai'. 

"This slogan was not coined by the Congress, or by Rahul Gandhi, but it is a slogan of the youth, farmers and labourers of India," he said. 

Claiming this slogan has become peoples slogan, Gandhi said, "Once when my car had halted at a traffic signal, an auto stopped by the side of my window (which was open), the driver saw me smiling, saw in my eyes and said `chowkidar chor hai'." 

The Congress chief's remarks came on a day he tendered an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court for wrongfully attributing to the apex court the 'chowkidar chor hai' remark in the Rafale verdict. 

Speaking about the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay), which the Congress plans to introduce if voted to power, Gandhi said the scheme, under which Rs 72,000 per annum would be deposited in bank accounts of the poor, would boost people's purchasing power and jump-start the economy. 

"Nyay will make up the loss inflicted by the note ban and the Goods and Services Tax (which he called Gabbar Singh Tax," he said. 

The Congress president said no farmer would be jailed for not repaying loans if his party came to power at the Centre. 

"A farmer asked me that Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi (the jewellers wanted in the PNB fraud case) took a loan of Rs 35,000 crore and did not pay it back. 

"Nirav is living in London, Anil Ambani took Rs 45,000 loan and did not return and is roaming scot free...no punishment but farmers get jail for a loan of mere Rs 10,000. 

"I wrote one line in (Congress) manifesto - no farmer will be sent to jail for not repaying bank loans," he said. 

Urging Congress workers to ensure a clean sweep for the party in the Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said, "Narendra is not coming back.. his vehicle has gone away..end..flop show. 

"See his face, see the energy in him, looking depressed... he has lost the election." 

The Congress chief assured that 22 lakh vacant government posts will be filled within a year of his party coming to power at the Centre. 

The Congress has fielded Devashish Jararia from the Bhind Lok Sabha seat, which will get to the polls on May 12. 

Jararia's main rival is BJP candidate Sandhya Rai. 

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