Within minutes of filing his nomination from the Amethi parliamentary seat, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday renewed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal. Rahul’s attack on the Prime Minister was against the backdrop of Supreme Court’s ruling on hearing the review petition on Rafale deal.
Rahul expressed his gratitude to the Supreme Court for rejecting the Centre’s objections over the admissibility of the “leaked” documents cited by petitions seeking a review. Talking to the press after filing his nomination, the Congress president said, “The Prime Minister has been claiming that the Supreme Court had given him a clean chit on the Rafale deal; justice has been done today.”
Rahul threw a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an open debate on the Rafale aircraft deal and said that the apex court’s order was indicative that corruption had taken place. The “chowkidar” had siphoned off the air force money and put Rs 30,000 crore in the pocket of Anil Ambani, Rahul alleged.
He welcomed the Supreme Court order and said that he had been saying this for the past few months that “chowkidar ne chori ki hai.” If an investigation was carried out in the deal then the names of Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani would figure prominently, he said.
Earlier, Rahul filed his nomination at the district Collectorate in Gauriganj. He reached there around 12.45 PM. Those present with him inside the Collectorate were his mother Sonia Gandhi, his sister and Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and their children Raihan and Miraya.
The whole Gandhi clan, barring Sonia Gandhi, accompanied Rahul Gandhi on a 3 km long road show. The show preceded the filing of the nomination. Rahul’s roadshow began from Munshiganj where Congress workers had assembled in huge numbers to show their solidarity with their MP. Rahul has represented Amethi thrice and the constituency is considered the borough of the Gandhi family.
Sonia arrived separately at the Amethi district collectorate after reaching Fursatganj in the neighbouring Rae Bareli district.
Rahul was accompanied on the decorated truck by Priyanka, his brother-in-law Robert Vadra and their children. The presence of the whole family during the roadshow was apparently aimed at sending out the message to the constituents that the Gandhi family had not deserted Amethi, given that Rahul is contesting from another constituency-Wayanad in Kerala.
The Gandhi scion is facing a stiff competition from Smriti Irani, the BJP candidate from Amethi. She had contested against Rahul in the 2014 parliamentary polls. Though Irani lost, the election saw the Congress president’s victory margin narrow down considerably. Since then, the BJP candidate has been nursing the Amethi constituency continuously and has visited it a number of times.
Considered the Gandhi family pocket borough, Amethiites expect to witness a keen contest between Rahul and Smriti. The BJP candidate will file her nomination papers on Thursday (April 11).
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will also file her nomination papers from Rae Bareli on Thursday. She is pitted against Congress turncoat Dinesh Pratap Singh, who has been fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party.