India is not PM, Modi is not country, says Rahul
IN HOUSE Cong V-P says black money compliance window is ‘fair and lovely scheme’
NEW DELHI: Cong ress vicepresident Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday launched a no-holdsbarred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of going soft on hoarders of black money and making repeated U-turns on his Pakistan policy.
Gandhi said Modi did not consult even his own ministers before deciding on matters of national importance, citing the Naga accord and the impromptu Christmas detour to have tea at Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif ’s farmhouse. Maintaining that the PM could not run the country on his whims through a centralised style of functioning, Gandhi said, “The country is not the PM and he is not the country.”
Punctuating his 35- minute speech with barbs targeting the PM rather than the government, Gandhi played on the perception that Modi single-handedly decided on important matters. And, he went on to question the PM on all of them — Modi’s silence on the raging debate on free speech, especially the attack on journalists and teachers in a Delhi court, the Naga pact that no one else knew about, and also the ambitious Make in India campaign that promised to be a job-spinner.
Gandhi first picked on the onetime compliance window for black money holders announced in the budget, describing it as a “fair and lovely” scheme — a reference to a popular skin-whitening cream. “Nobody who has black money will be jailed under Modi’s Fair and Lovely scheme. All those who have black money can make it white under this scheme,” he said.
Gandhi did fumble in between but recovered quickly to deliver another punch. “Yes, I do make mistakes. I am not from the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological mentor),” said the Congress leader, who last year came up with the “suitboot ki sarkar” jab, accusing the Modi government of being pro- industry and anti-poor. Modi is slated to respond on Thursday to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s address to Parliament.The BJP’s front-line ministers were not in the House when a clean-shaven Gandhi dressed in his trademark white kurta spoke. Ruling party MPs who were present did not disturb and, at times, some even seemed to enjoy the speech.