Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, alleging that his daughter had received money from Mehul Choksi, the absconding accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.
He said the media was not highlighting this because it is being “threatened and suppressed”.
Gandhi was addressing a farmers’ rally here as part of the party’s campaign for the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh next month.
“You must have heard about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who had stolen Rs 35,000 crore of the country. Choksi deposited lakhs of rupees in the bank account of FM Arun Jaitley’s daughter,” the Congress leader claimed at the rally.
He said the Finance Minister “did not take any action against Choksi following which he fled the country.
He said Congress leaders held a press conference in Delhi on Monday, giving “details” about bank account of Jaitley’s daughter “but unfortunately none of the major media houses carried this story. It is sad because the work of the media is to bring out the truth.”
Gandhi said the responsibility of the media is to protect the truth, like the army secures the borders.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal, the Congress chief alleged that he (Modi) had snatched a contract related to the aircraft agreement from the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and given it to a private company which has never made an aeroplane.
The UPA government had prepared the Rafale contract for purchase of 126 fighter aircrafts, according to which the price for each jet was around Rs 526 crore.
“But after becoming prime minister, Narendra Modi ji goes to France along with Anil Ambani and purchased each Rafale jets at Rs. 1600 crore per piece, he said.
He said under the UPAs agreement, Bengaluru-based HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) was to manufacture the fighter jets which would have ensured technology transfer and jobs to local youths.
“But Modi ji himself snatched the contract from HAL and allotted it to Anil Ambani’s company which was newly-formed and had no experience in manufacturing aeroplanes. Ambani would not have even made a plane of paper, Rahul mocked.
Ambani has already rejected Gandhi’s allegations.
The Congress chief said Modi “is not a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) of farmers and youth but of Ambani.”
Attacking Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh over his son’s name allegedly finding mention in the Panama Papers, Gandhi said even Pakistan’s former Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) was jailed for the same case “but no action has been taken against Singhs son Abhishek Singh.”
Speaking about the problems of the farmers, he said the Congress party will address all those after coming in power in Chhattisgarh.
He promised waiver of farmers’ pending loans within 10 days, if his party comes to power in the state.
Farmers are being seen as a major vote bank in the state by the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress – the two dominant players in the state politics.
Gandhi also promised to set up food processing units in each district of the state where farmers would get better returns for their produce besides generating employment opportunities.
Better health and education facilities will be provided at nominal rates, if the Congress comes to power, he assured.
Gandhi said the state government had diluted all the laws enacted by the Congress to protect interest of tribals and farmers.
“If the Congress forms government in the state, all those laws will be strictly implemented for the welfare of farmers and tribals,” he added.
Encouraging party workers to reach to the people at the ground and inform them about the misrule of BJP government, he said candidates for next month’s polls will be as per the choice of party workers and nobody “dropped from parachute” will be given ticket.
This was the Gandhi’s first visit to the state after the poll code came into effect on October 6.
Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on November 12 and 20.
Counting of votes will be taken up on 11 December.