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Modi targets 'family, Ahmed Patel' over Agusta chargesheet

Last updated on: April 06, 2019 00:05 IST

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during an election rally, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Saharanpur, on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday referred to the Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet on the AgustaWestland helicopter scam and claimed that alleged middleman Christian Michel had pointed at the involvement of the first family of the Congress.

Alleging that the Congress and corruption were 'inseparable partners', Modi said Michel had disclosed two names to his interrogators.

"One was 'AP' and the other was 'Fam'. 'AP' stands for Ahmed Patel and 'Fam' stands for family. Have you heard of Ahmed Patel? Which family is he close to?" Modi asked the crowd at a rally in Dehradun.

 

When he heard the crowd's response, Modi said: "You understood automatically. The family cannot tolerate the stern attitude of the 'chowkidar' (watchman)."

The ED had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Michel in a Delhi court on Thursday, saying that the alleged middleman had identified the initials 'AP' as Ahmed Patel, the senior Congress leader considered close to the Gandhi family.

Michel, however, filed an application on Friday claiming that he had not named anybody in connection with the deal.

Modi claimed he was told that a journalists were pushed around when he tried to ask Congress president Rahul Gandhi questions on the charge sheet.

"I was told today that when some journalists asked this 'naamdar' some questions on the helicopter scam, he slapped him and ran away," Modi said.

"When the ground beneath the feet of this messiah of peace is slipping away, he is even pushing around reporters."

The apparent reference was to an incident earlier in the day in Pune when a television journalist was stopped by security personnel when he approached the car in which Gandhi was seated.

A video clip showed security personnel blocking the journalist.

The 'family', which at one time governed the fortunes of the country, is out on bail and thinking up ways to save itself from going to jail, the prime minister alleged.

"The name of the family comes on top when it comes to corruption. They did not spare even our armed forces. No defence deal, be it Bofors or the helicopter deal, took place during Congress regimes without commissions being paid," Modi said at the parade ground.

"There was a time when no one dared to touch this family. Their vehicles went straight to the aircraft at airports without anyone checking them. Today, they are trying every method up their sleeve to save themselves from landing behind bars," he said.

Modi claimed that the Congress governments compete with each other to exceed in corruption.

"Congress and corruption are inseparable partners. Wherever the party comes to power, corruption goes on the accelerator while development goes on the ventilator," Modi said, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.

"There is no resource on 'jal, thal and nabh' (water, land and space) that they have not looted."

The prime minister also accused the Congress of hurting the morale of the armed forces by seeking a review of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

"What will happen to the country (if they do so)? You are committing the sin of removing the protective cover from the security personnel for votes? Shame on you for your politics.

"Any terrorist can file any kind of FIR against the Army and security personnel if the AFSPA is withdrawn," Modi said.

The controversial AFSPA gives a degree of immunity from prosecution to the security forces deployed in 'disturbed areas'.

"By talking about revoking and repealing these laws, the Congress is giving a free reign to Pakistan-funded terrorists, separatists and the stone pelters. What is wrong with the Congress Party?" Modi asked.

Modi claimed that the manifesto reflected Congress' hatred for the armed forces, saying it was reflected in the way the party had stalled the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for 40 years.

"Those who look only for notes or votes kept the OROP waiting for 40 years. But we could implement it as you gave your blessings and stood like a rock with me," he added.

Earlier, speaking in Amroha, Modi said, some people lose their sleep when India hits back at terrorists.

"After the terrorist attack, should I have remained silent or attacked," he asked the gathering, referring to the February 14 terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

"Terrorists are being given a reply in their own language... this is not liked by some people who lose their sleep when India hits back," he said.

When Pakistan is exposed in front of the world, "these people" start speaking in its favour and there is "competition among them to become its (Pakistan's) hero", Modi said.

"Be it the Congress, the SP or the BSP, they have put your life and future in danger," the prime minister told the crowd gathered in the town with a sizeable Muslim population.

The PM said, "When there was Congress government at the Centre and the governments of SP, BSP in Uttar Pradesh, bombs used to explode in Lucknow, there used to be blasts in Ramlala, Kashi and attack on CRPF camp in Rampur."

The governments of 'Bua' (Mayawati) and 'Babua' (Akhilesh Yadav) released terror accused and were kind to them, Modi alleged.

"The links of these attacks go very far and when our security agencies nab the accused, due to vote bank politics, Bua and Babua governments used to set them free and were kind to them," he said.

Asserting that such blasts and deaths of innocent people have stopped in the past five years as there is a "Chowkidar" at the Centre, Modi said, "I will even find terrorist from 'patal' (deep inside the earth). Modi does not weigh terrorism for vote bank. Those responsible for terrorism are in jail."

"Some forces are dividing the country and creating fissures on the basis of caste. The people of UP have given befitting reply to such forces in 2014 and 2017. The Congress even tried to humilate Baba Saheb Ambedkar and tried every trick to defeat him in elections.

He said the Congress has started taking Ambdekar's name "due to the compulsion of vote bank"

"Otherwise, the same party even did not let his photographs installed in Parliament. Can their sins be pardoned?" Modi said.

He alleged that leaders like Yogendra Nath Mandal and Babu Jagjivan Ram were also ignored by the Congress which did not met good treatment to them.

The prime minister said he had not let the country hang its head in shame in the five years he had been in power, stressing that the country's reputation and image was higher than it had ever been.

"I would like to thank the government of UAE and people of UAE for honouring me with the Zayed medal...this is not an award given to Modi but to the Indian people," he said.

He said on Thursday that he accepts the prestigious 'Order of Zayed' conferred on him by the United Arab Emirates with utmost humility.

"A wave, which is found in the country, is also seen in Amroha. I bow before you for the way in which you helped this 'Chowkidar'," he said.

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