India General Polls

War of words between Modi, Rahul sharpens

14 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Theni: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday upped the ante against the Congress with stinging remarks on its poll promise of rolling out a minimum income guarantee scheme if voted to power in the Lok Sabha polls, reports Hindustan Times. 

“They are now saying ‘ab hoga nyay’, now there will be justice…This means that they have admitted that they did injustice for 60 years,” said PM Modi.

PM Modi invoked former Tamil Nadu chief ministers J Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran to seek vote for the AIADMK candidate at Theni Lok Sabha seat, where he was addressing an election rally.

“I pay my respects to Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran who lived and worked for the poor,” PM Modi said in the Lok Sabha constituency while seeking vote for AIADMK candidate and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son P Ravindranath Kumar.

MGR was a charismatic actor-politician, who began his political journey with the Congress but quit the party to join the DMK, which he left to form his own AIADMK in 1972. In five years’ time, MGR routed DMK in 1977 assembly polls and became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa was MGR’s protégée and rose to prominence after his death in 1987 while he was still the chief minister of the state. Jayalalithaa, a five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister, died in December 2016 after a prolonged illness.

The BJP is in alliance with the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The alliance is pitted against the UPA led by the Congress and the DMK in the state. There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Tamil Nadu votes for all 39 Lok Sabha seats in the parliamentary elections and 18 assembly segments in the simultaneous bypolls.

Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday sharpened his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that he extended “undue favours” to his industrialist friends, who looted the country.

“When we announced NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana), the face of the chowkidar (a reference to PM Modi) changed. It shrank. He asked where will money come from to implement NYAY. I am telling you Modiji, the money for NYAY will come from your friend Anil Ambani,” said Gandhi addressing an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka.

Gandhi said once the Congress forms government after the Lok Sabha elections, it will deposit Rs 72,000 in a year in the bank accounts of the poor families of the country.

“Narendra Modi spoke about giving Rs 15 lakh to the poor. It was a lie. We dug out the truth. The Congress will deposit Rs 3.60 lakh rupees in the bank accounts of the poor in five years. The money will go into the bank accounts of women of the beneficiary families,” Gandhi said.

The Congress president accused PM Modi of diverting money meant for the Indian Air Force to favour businessman Anil Ambani, whose firm, Reliance Defence is an offset partner of the Dassault Aviation, the French company which has got the contract for supply of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

India and France signed an agreement for the purchase of Rafale fighter jets in 2016. The Congress has alleged malfeasance in the Rafale deal. At his Kolar rally, Gandhi said, “You (PM Modi) talk about corruption but you have given money to Anil Ambani by stealing Rs 30,000 of the Indian Air Force.”

Karnataka will vote in two of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls – April 18 and April 23 - 14 Lok Sabha seats in each phase. Kolar Lok Sabha constituency, where the Congress president was addressing his election rally, goes to the polls on April 18 in the second phase of the parliamentary elections.

The Congress has kept a firm hold over the Kolar Lok Sabha seat. The party has lost the seat only once since 1977. Former Union minister KH Muniyappa is the sitting MP from Kolar seat and has won it seven times in a row.

The Congress veteran is in the fray again and fighting against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s S Muniswamy, a greenhorn, in the seat reserved for members of Scheduled Castes.

“This is a fight between the ideologies of hate and unity. The victory will be of Congress and JDS,” said Gandhi.