On Sunday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that corruption was flourishing in the States ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party and involved party leaders, while the PM merely talked about fighting graft with slogans.
On the second day of his poll campaign as part of the Congress’s Navsarjan Yatra in north Gujarat, Mr. Gandhi talked about alleged financial dealings involving BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, and also the recent Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) order slapping a penalty of ₹15 lakh on Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) for manipulative trades in a small company.
Mr. Gandhi said that the share market regulator had termed Mr. Rupani beimaan (dishonest) and imposed a fine on him, yet there was no word from the Prime Minister on the issue.
“Gujarat is more corrupt than the entire country,” Mr. Gandhi said. “Surat businessmen told me that policemen come to their units every two minutes [allegedly to demand bribes].” Mr. Gandhi said there were vast differences between Mr. Modi’s speeches on fighting graft, and the ground reality.
“Jay Shah, son of Amit Shah, increased the turnover of his company from ₹50,000 to ₹80 crore in a few months after the BJP came to power in 2014. The people of Gujarat know this cannot be done without corruption or irregularity,” he alleged, also pointing to the PM’s silence on it.
“Recently, SEBI said your Chief Minister is beimaan (dishonest) and they fined him for manipulative trades in stock market,” he said, adding, “Earlier, Modiji used to say na khaoonga, na khane doonga [I will neither take graft nor allow it]. Please open your [Mr. Modi’s] mouth now and say something. But he is silent.”
“Now, Modi’s slogan new slogan is na bolta hu, na bolne dunga (I will not speak myself and I will not allow others to speak),” he said.
“The people of the country want to listen what you [Mr. Modi] have to say on Amit Shah’s son’s company and on Vijay Rupani’s share transactions. If you don’t say anything on the issue, the people of Gujarat will believe that you are not a chowkidar (watchman) but a bhagidar (collaborator),” he said.
SEBI hasreportedly fined 22 entities, including the Rupani HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), for alleged manipulative trading in the shares of a company.
Mr. Gandhi asked the government to stop levying Goods and Services Tax on most items. Petrol, diesel and domestic gas cylinders should be brought within the ambit of the tax regime. (source:IE)