PM accuses Conge of working at the behest of middlemen, Rahul hits back

Baripada/New Delhi
5 Jan 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today came down heavily on the Congress, accusing the Opposition party of working at the behest of middlemen in the defence sector, instead of running a government for the people, during the UPA rule.
Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally here, Modi alleged that there was a conspiracy to weaken the country's defence forces during 2004-2014 and the revelation of facts was now "paining" the Congress leaders. "Therefore, they want to remove the chowkidar (watchman) from their path at any cost. Be it the society or factories, thieves always try and conspire to remove the chowkidar to make their task easy. As long as the chowkidar remains, they are unable to operate," he said. "This also pains them (Congress leaders) because their secrecy is now coming to the fore," Modi said, adding that there were reports that a letter of the middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, Christian Michel, who has recently been brought to India from Dubai, had revealed that they had close ties with top Congress leaders and ministers.
The middleman was aware of the movement of files in the Prime Minister's Office and even the details of deliberations of the Cabinet Committee on Defence, he claimed, adding that Michel had information of every movement of files. "Perhaps, middlemen had more information than the Prime Minister himself," Modi said. The middleman was also passing on crucial information related to defence, security and weapons procurement abroad, he added. "I cannot understand whether the Congress was running a government or the durbar of its own Michel mama," the Prime Minister stated, while asserting that a thorough probe would be conducted into these matters. "I want to make it clear that the role of people in protecting the interest of middlemen at the cost of the country will thoroughly be probed by agencies and the people of the country. The Centre always takes hard decisions for the country's security," he said, while asking the crowd whether the Congress should be allowed to do what it was doing during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.
Stepping up his attack on the Unioni government over the Rafale deal issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today urged all Indians to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers the questions he posed in Parliament on the fighter jet agreement with France. "RM (Raksha Mantri) spoke for 2 hrs in Parliament, but she couldn't answer the 2 simple questions I asked her," Rahul tweeted. He also posted a video of the two questions he posed to the defence minister in Parliament. He had asked who gave the offset contract to Anil Ambani and whether the defence ministry officials had raised an objection when the prime minister carried out a "bypass surgery" for the deal. The Congress president had asked Sitharaman to reply in a yes or no. Posting the video on his Twitter account, Rahul said: "Watch & SHARE this video. Let every Indian ask the PM & his Ministers these questions." With his tweet, Gandhi used the hashtag "2SawalDoJawab". Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while giving the government's reply on the Rafale deal discussion in Parliament on Friday, had accused the Congress of spreading "falsehood" on the issue and said while the Bofors scam brought the party down, Rafale will help Prime Minister Modi retain power. (PTI)