Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in Lok Sabha as the first opposition speaker, Rahul said that during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, people all over the country spoke about Gautam Adani and wondered how come he never failed.
“All over the country, one word that I heard from Kerala to Kashmir is ‘Adani, Adani, Adani’. This name when people asked me about, they wanted to know how come he was successful in every business, how come he never failed,” he asked.
Alluding to Adani’s alleged links with the Centre, he said that youth wondered how the businessman’s net worth reached $140 billion from $8 billion between 2014 to 2022.
How did Adani reach from rank 609 to 2 within 8 years? asks Rahul Gandhi in Parliament
Training his guns directly on the Prime Minister, Rahul levelled charges of crony capitalism and favoritism.
“PM Modi goes to Australia and by magic, SBI gives $1 billion loan to Adani. Then he goes to Bangladesh & then the Bangladesh Power development board signs a 25-yreas contract with Adani,” he said.
Rahul added while earlier PM Modi used to travel in Adani’s aircraft, now Adani travels in Modi ji’s aircraft.
“This matter was earlier of Gujarat, then became of India and now has become international. How much money did Adani give to BJP in last 20 years & through electoral bonds,” Rahul asked.
Earlier, Rahul had said the Narendra Modi-led government was doing its best to ensure that no discussion takes place in Parliament regarding the Adani Group’s rout.
The Adani Group is in the eye of a storm following the allegations of fraud and stock manipulation by a US-based short-selling firm. The company’s stocks have been hammered even though the group has rejected the charges.
‘Agniveer scheme didn’t come from Army‘
During his speech, Rahul also ripped into the government over the new Agniveer recruitment scheme for the armed forces, claiming that the people he met during his yatra said that the scheme came from NSA Ajit Doval and RSS and not the home ministry or Army.
“People also talked about Agniveer scheme but the youth of India told us about them being asked to leave after 4 years. Retired senior officers said that Agniveer Yojana came from RSS, home ministry & not from Army,” he said.
Rahul said that he was told that the Agniveer scheme was “being coerced on Army”.
“Retired officers said that people are being given arms training & then asked to go back to society, this will lead to violence… They (Retired officers) have in their mind that Agniveer Scheme didn’t come from Army and that NSA Ajit Doval coerced the scheme on Army,” he said.
Rahul also targeted President Droupadi Murmu’s joint address to Parliament, saying that words like inflation and employment were not there in her speech.
“How is it that the Agniveer scheme was mentioned only once in the President’s speech? Unemployment, inflation … there was no word of that in the address. All the issues that people told me during the yatra, we didn’t hear about them in the President’s address,” he said.
The Wayanad MP also alleged that the farmers had not got money under the PM-BIMA Yojana.
“We ask youth about their jobs, many said they are unemployed or drive Uber, farmers talked about not getting money under PM-BIMA Yojana, their land being snatched away while tribals talked about tribal bill,” Gandhi said.
Sharp response from govt
Rahul’s charges in Lok Sabha drew a sharp response from the treasury benches, with law minister Kiren Rijiju asking him to not level “wild allegations” and furnish proof of his claims.
Later, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Rahul for his “baseless, shameless and reckless allegations” against PM Modi.
“Congress, its leaders were involved in all big scams which tarnished image of India,” he said.
Speaker Om Birla also asked him to focus on the President’s address and disapproved of the Congress leader displaying a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Adani in the business tycoon’s plane to highlight their alleged proximity.
(With inputs from agencies)
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