The Congress today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shielding BJP ministers and leaders allegedly involved in corruption by not ordering any probe against them, and warned that the cases against them would be investigated and the guilty punished once it comes to power. Congress spokesperson R P N Singh told reporters that his party has been raising issues of corruption against several ministers as well as the son of BJP president Amit Shah, but the prime minister has always maintained silence on the matters.
“We have raised various cases of corruption against BJP ministers and even the son of BJP president but no reports, no CBI inquiry not even income tax investigation has been initiated,” Singh said. “When PM was the chief minister of Gujarat, the GSPC scandal of Rs 20 lakh crore happened. I want to tell you that the day our government will come to power, we would investigate all these matters. And all these people will not get bail but put behind bars. When they are in power they do not investigate such matters,” he said.
Attacking Modi, who addressed a rally in Rajasthan today, Singh alleged that the state government did not allow farmers to attend the rally for which crores of rupees were spent. The prime minister did not want to hear the farmers who were raising their issues before him; so they were stopped from attending the rally in Jaipur, he said.
Modi addressed the beneficiaries of welfare schemes run by the Centre and the state government in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, where assembly polls will be held later this year. He laid the foundation stone for 13 urban infrastructure projects and met the beneficiaries of public welfare schemes. Modi said the opposition party was now being called a ‘bail gaadi’ as several of its leaders were out on bail.
Recorded statements of the beneficiaries of the government schemes were played out at the beginning of Modi’s rally. Later, groups of farmers also met him on the dais. But the Congress spokesperson alleged that private bodies had been pressured by the Rajasthan government to bring people to the rally. Singh waived a copy of a letter to support his allegations before the media.
“Private players, including the LPG distribution federation, have written to the chief secretary, complaining that all distributors have been asked to bring people who had benefitted from Ujjawala scheme. They have said they are being threatened that if they don’t bring people to the rally their distributorship would be cancelled and cases will be filed against them,” Singh alleged. The Congress also alleged that the BJP government has created a situation for farmers that they have been forced to return to bullock carts from tractors. The comment apparently was a response to Modi’s use of the words “bail gaadi” – punning on the Hindi term for a bullock cart.
Singh said the announcement on raising the MSPs of farm produce is just another “jumla” of the Modi government. This is the first government which has put farm products under the Goods and Services Tax, he said. The Centre has decided to increase the MSPs for Kharif crops. The decision, taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by the prime minister, came less than a year before the next general elections. On Wednesday, the Centre hiked the minimum support price for paddy by Rs 200 per quintal for 2018-19.