Rewa: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the soaring fuel prices while asking “whose pockets are being filled” because of this. He also attacked the Modi government, once again, over the Rafale fighter plane deal before wrapping up his two-day visit to the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. Also Read - Is it Enough to Light Diyas For 9 Mins? Here's What Shashi Tharoor Has to Say
Addressing a gathering at Baikunthpur of Rewa district, he said,”Crude oil prices were 140 dollar per barrel in international market during the UPA regime. These rates have come down to 70 dollars (in global market) now. But, the prices of petrol and diesel in India have been going up.” Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Seeks Support of India's Sports Heroes in COVID-19 Battle; Stars Promise to do Their Bit
He went on to ask, “Whose pockets are being filled with high prices? Why is the prime minister not speaking on price rise of petrol and diesel?” Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Reaffirmed my Belief That we Can’t Let Our Guard Down After April 14 Lockdown: Sachin Tendulkar
Taking a dig at the prime minister, Gandhi said, “Narendra Modi used to ask the people (during his speeches) whether they are getting petrol at Rs 50 now. Yes, the people are getting half-a-litre petrol in Rs 50 now.” The Congress leader said the Modi government has ignored the interests of farmers but helped a small group of industrialists by waiving loans amounting to nearly Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Further, he raked up the issue of Rafale deal and alleged, “During the UPA rule, the contract related to the deal was given to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) so that it could help create jobs. But the Modi government gave this deal to industrialist Anil Ambani and hiked the planes procurement price.”
“When we asked about the price, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharama lied that there was a secret clause. But, French President said that there is no such secret pact,” he charged.
He alleged that French President has said that their government had no option because the Indian government had proposed Anil Ambanis name. On the other hand, Ambani has already rejected Rahul Gandhi’s allegations and emphasised that the government had no role in the Rafale- manufacturer French company Dassault picking up his company as a local partner. He had written to Gandhi on December 12, 2017, refuting allegations of his Reliance Group lacking experience to get the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Congress president also alleged that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had helped industrialist Vijay Mallya in escaping from the country after defaulting on loans to the tune of thousands of crores but Modi doesn’t utter a word.
On Friday, Gandhi addressed public meetings in four assembly constituencies of states Vindhya region including at Baikunthpur (Sirmour), Shahpur (Simaria), Lalgaon (Mangawan) and Chunari (Teothar).
After addressing the rally at Chunari, the Congress president left for Allahabad in a helicopter.
He had reached Chitrakoot (Satna district) from Allahabad by a helicopter on Thursday and visited the Kamta Nath temple where he performed ‘puja’. Later, he addressed two public meetings respectively at Chitrakoot and Satna besides holding a roadshow in Rewa city in the night.
The 48-year-old Amethi MP was accompanied by Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath, state party campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia and Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh.
(With inputs from PTI)