A day after he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asserted that he won’t back down from asking questions on the relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and billionaire Gautam Adani, wondering who invested Rs 20,000 crore in Adani’s shell companies.
Addressing a press conference, the Congress leader claimed that he has been disqualified from the Lower House after his conviction by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case because the PM was scared of his next speech on the Adani issue.
Rahul was flanked by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and party general secretaries Jairam Ramesh and K C Venugopal. His sister Priyanka Gandhi was also present at the press meet held at the AICC headquarters.
“This whole drama has been orchestrated to defend the prime minister from the simple question – Whose Rs 20,000 crore went to Adani’s shell companies? I am not scared of these threats, disqualifications, or prison sentences,” the senior Congress leader said.
He said he was not interested in anything but the truth. ”I only speak the truth, it is my work and I will keep doing it even if I get disqualified or get arrested. This country has given me everything and that is why I do this.”
The former MP from Wayanad clarified that he never made any remark critical of the country or sought foreign intervention on the issue of democracy in India during his recent visit to the UK. “Some ministers lied about me, that I sought help from foreign powers. But there is no such thing I have done. I will not stop asking questions,” he added.
He said he had met the Lok Sabha speaker and also written to him that he must be allowed to speak in the House since four central ministers had spoken about him. However, he was not permitted to do so.
“I have said many times that democracy is being attacked in the country. We are seeing examples of this each day. I asked questions in Parliament regarding the relationship between PM Modi and Adani,” Rahul said.
He said he was confident that his disqualification would galvanise the Congress and also unite the Opposition parties. He also thanked the Opposition parties for extending support to him and asserted that going forward, all of them would work together.
On the charge that he has insulted the OBCs by his comments about the surname ‘Modi’ for which he was convicted by the court, the Congress leader said; ”I have always talked about brotherhood, this is not about OBCs. The Opposition will benefit the most from the government’s panic reaction.”