September 2018
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Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi and Amit Shah in his most personal attack yet
(NEW DELHI, Mar 18, 2018):Amid proclamations that he would be the next Prime Minister of the country, Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched his sharpest personalised attack ever on PM Narendra Modi by saying his name had become synonymous with corruption and non-performance.

He also called BJP chief Amit Shah a “murder accused” — indicating it would be a no-holds barred faceoff in the election year.

With a packed house in rapt attention at his first major presidential address at the AICC plenary session, Rahul picked on absconders Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi to say “the man who carried out the biggest theft in India” and “the most corrupt man in cricket” shared the same name as the PM. Rhetorically asking “what does the name Modi mean”, he said, “The name Modi symbolises the collusion between India’s biggest businessmen and the PM.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said, “Modi gives (Nirav) Modi Rs 30,000 crore of your money and, in turn, Modi gives Modi money for marketing Modi and fighting elections.” He referred to the Rafale deal and said, “Forget fighter planes, you can’t trust such a man to buy vegetables. Modi is not fighting corruption, Modi is corruption.”

In his 52-minute speech, his longest, Rahul also targeted Shah and finance minister Arun Jaitley. Describing Shah as a murder accused, he said people would not accept such a person as Congress chief because they held Congress to “higher standards”. He claimed Jaitley and his daughter had links with Nirav Modi.

Rahul will unfurl tricolour at Red Fort as PM, says Sidhu

The speech followed an aggressive cameo by Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who, to huge applause from the crowd, declared that Rahul was set to unfurl the tricolour from Red Fort next year as PM.

Rahul’s belligerence, lapped up and cheered by Congress workers gathered from all states, itself appeared to be designed to reassure party workers that they were destined to win the battle of ideologies in 2019.

RSS, seen as the campaign machine behind BJP’s election victories, also found itself in Rahul’s crosshairs. To complete his painting of the ruling camp in negative light, Rahul likened Congress to “humble Pandavas fighting for truth” and locked in a battle with BJP which was “arrogant and rich Kauravas”.

The message to the cadre, worried about their fortunes since the decimation of 2014, about the party being on the comeback trail was sought to be amplified by references to results of recent by-elections and the party’s Gujarat performance.

Congress’s national footprint has progressively shrunk since 2014 with losses to BJP in a string of states.

But Rahul struck a bullish note, suggesting the losing streak was about to end. “You must have seen the change in Modi’s face, the suit (monogrammed) has disappeared and he is thinking that ‘we escaped in Gujarat but may not be able to escape in 2019’,” Rahul said.

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