Says he needs no certificate of honesty from those out on bail
PTI, BILASPUR (CHATTISGARH): Hitting out at Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for questioning him on demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said he did not need a "certificate of honesty" from the "mother-son duo" who are out on bail.
In a no-holds-barred attack on the Congress, its president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia, Modi also said the party's "politics begins and ends with one family".
Addressing a poll rally in Bilaspur ahead of the second and final phase polling in Chattisgarh on November 20, the prime minister made a strong pitch for development, saying its pace under the Congress' watch was "far slow" than that during the BJP's rule.
Singling out the Gandhis for "seeking account of demonetisation", Modi asked "whether the mother-son duo who are out on bail for financial irregularities would give him certificate of honesty".
"They want an account of demonetisation. It was due to the demonetisation that fake companies were identified. And because of that you had to seek bail. Why do you forget that it was due to the note ban that you had to seek bail," he said without naming the Gandhis. Modi announced the ban on high-value currency notes on November 8, 2016.
Modi's remarks were an apparent reference to the bail granted by a Delhi court to Rahul and Sonia in December 2015 in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the National Herald case.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad disapproved of Modi's bail remarks, saying the prime minister should not lower the dignity of his office.
Attacking the Congress on the issue of corruption, Modi also referred to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's remark in 1985 that only 15 paise of every rupee meant for the welfare of the downtrodden reached them.
Which "hand" (election symbol of the Congress) had siphoned off the remaining 85 paise, Modi asked.
Alluding to Rajiv Gandhi's remark, Modi said demonetisation "brought back the 85 paise which were disappearing" due to corruption.
Congress never got a leadership which worked with a resolution of "living or dying for the welfare of the nation", he said.
Chhattisgarh may have taken 50 years to attain the present level of development had it still been ruled by the Rahul Gandhi-led party, he said.
"And there is a reason for it. Their politics begins and ends with one family, while our politics begins from the huts of the poor," he told the gathering.
Modi said people ask him from where was he getting the money for developmental works. "It (money) is very much available," he added.
"The money is yours. Earlier it was hidden under someone's bed, in cupboards. It all came out after demonetisation was announced," he said.
Without naming the Congress, Modi said its leaders were "disconnected" from the aspirations of people.
"Hence, they (Congress leaders) would give slogans, but they did not have policies and intentions to realise. Neither did the Congress get a leadership which worked with the resolution of living or dying for welfare of the nation," he said.
He also targeted the Congress president, saying when Congress released its 36-point manifesto for Chhattisgarh polls, 'Naamdaar' (Rahul Gandhi) was referred to as 'Sir' 150 times which shows he is more important for them (Congress) than Chhattisgarh.
The BJP is for development and it was due to this commitment that the opposition is unable to understand how to compete with ruling party in elections, Modi said.