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Rahul drops a bomb on Modi; BJP fights back

Cong leader alleges PM took money from Saharas and Birlas

Story: PT | / MEHSANA | 22nd December 2016, 12:00 Hrs

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry into it, a charge BJP rejected as an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe in which the names of Congress leaders and the “family” were coming up.

Addressing a rally here in the prime Minister's home state, he alleged that in the I-T records there are notings of Sahara officials' claims that they had paid 9 times to Modi between October, 2013 and February, 2014.

Gandhi said the documents in this regard were with IT department which had raided the company when Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister.

Similarly, as per documents with Income Tax department, the Birla group also paid Rs 12 crore to Modi when he was Chief Minister.

Wondering as to why there has been no probe in the matter so far, Gandhi demanded an independent inquiry.

Last week, Gandhi claimed that he had evidence of “personal corruption” of Prime Minister but he was being prevented from speaking in the Lok Sabha because it would cause an earthquake.

“PM Modi takes bribes and then shamelessly foists Demonetisation on Indians under the garb of 'fighting Black Money,” Congress tweeted after the rally quoting its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.

“Rahulji asks if Modiji received this money from Sahara or not? If this document is with Income Tax, will Modi now investigate it?,” tweeted party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

NGO Common Cause had filed a PIL on the issue in the Supreme Court and a bench headed by CJI-designate Justice J S Khehar last week had refused to take up the matter saying there was no evidence but only allegations against the Prime Minister.

The bench then asked lawyer Prashant Bhushan to provide evidence before it could decide on whether it could admit the petition.

Gandhi alleged that the I-T records show Sahara officials' claims of having paid Rs 40 crore to Modi on various dates between October, 2013 and February, 2014.

“You (Modi) did not allow me to speak in Parliament. I did not know why you did not want to face me in the House. I tell you the reason. Any business entity keeps record of its transactions. On November 2014, Income Tax department conducted raids on Sahara, a very large corporate house,” he said.

“During that raid, I-T department found some documents, which are on record. I want to share with you the contents of those documents. There were several entries in those documents, which I am reading out before you,” he said.

He then alleged that another record suggests that Birla Group gave Rs 12 crore to 'Gujarat Chief Minister'.

“This record is with I-T department since last 2.5 years.

I-T even recommended to conduct an inquiry in this issue. I want to ask you why no such inquiry was done? We want to know whether it is true that money was given to you nine times by Sahara?” Rahul asked.

“You doubted the honesty of citizens, their hard-earned income, and made them stand in the queues. Now, on behalf of citizens, I am asking you whether the information is true or not. And if it is true, then when you will set up an inquiry,” said Gandhi.

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CONG: PM SHOULD FACE INQUIRY

Unfazed by BJP's counterattack on Rahul Gandhi after he levelled corruption charges against the Prime Minister, Congress demanded Narendra Modi face an independent inquiry as the allegations of personal corruption against him have led to “serious question of credibility”

TMC DEMANDS CBI PROBE

Trinamool Congress on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe into Rahul Gandhi's allegation. The TMC had first raised this issue in 2014 and there must be a proper investigation into it. If necessary, the CBI should probe the matter, it said

LEFT PARTIES FOR PROBE

Demanding for a probe, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the “personal-political corruption” charges against the Prime Minister while he delivers “sermons” on combating black money and corruption is his “trademark hypocrisy”

PM MUST QUIT: KEJRIWAL

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi step down till his name is cleared of alleged charges of graft and sought a probe into the allegations by a Supreme Court monitored committee

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Rahul wants to divert attention

from AgustaWestland probe: BJP

NEW DELHI: Rejecting corruption charges against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “baseless, shameful, and mala fide”, BJP said he is “pure” as Ganga and Rahul Gandhi did so to divert attention from AgustaWestland scam probe in which names of his family members have cropped up.

Union minister Ravi Shankar said the Supreme Court has observed that these are “no allegations”, and hit back by raking up graft cases involving Gandhi family and the UPA government.

If Gandhi thinks that by levelling these false allegations he can affect the probe into AgustaWestland scam, then “let me tell him that the government is not going to do any such favour and the CBI will do its investigation with honesty and not come under any pressure,” the Law Minister told a press conference.

People have rejected his leadership and do not deem Congress fit even to run municipalities, he said referring to BJP's win and the Congress' loss in local polls in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chandigarh and added Gandhi was “defeated and frustrated” after electoral reverses.

“These are baseless, false, shameful and mala fide allegations. He is a defeated and frustrated person and we understand his travails. People do not consider his party fit to run even a municipality. He is leading his party to disastrous defeats and his leadership is not trusted.

“The defeated and frustrated Rahul Gandhi is levelling these baseless charges in anger. Names of Congress leaders and his family (members) have cropped up in AgustaWestland probe.

It had come up in Italy too. To divert attention from this, he is levelling such false allegations... Narendra Modi is pure like Ganga,” Prasad said.

Asked if BJP is considering about taking legal action against him, he said “we trust people of India more”.

Accusing the Congress leader of being a “patron of corruption”, he said Gandhi never spoke a word about a series of scams under the UPA government. People have rejected his claims over demonetisation as well, he said.

“You answer one question. You enjoyed more power than Manmohan Singh (then Prime Minister) but did you say anything? Not a word was spoken by Rahul Gandhi on a series of stinking corruption cases. You kept quiet,” he said.

Prasad also raked up alleged land grab cases involving Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra to attack him.

Noting that the Congress vice president is on bail in the National Herald case of “fraud and cheating” of over Rs 5,000 crore, he said such an “accused” is levelling corruption allegations against a “clean and honest” Prime Minister, who has run an honest government since taking over.

“The whole history of the Congress party stinks with corruption,” he said, alleging it promoted looter of public money. The UPA government did corruption in deals involving land, space and sea, he said.

Levelling false charges are in Gandhi's nature and people will never trust him, Prasad said.

People have stopped giving him TRP and the media should also think how reasonable to give his baseless charges TRP, he said.

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