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Cong plots Modi offensive

New Delhi, July 28: The Congress is planning its first major offensive against the Prime Minister in Parliament with a few issues likely to provide enough ammo to fire up the session.

Congress leaders said three issues were directly linked to Narendra Modi and they were holding informal consultations with like-minded parties to create an impact in Parliament.

The issues are: (i) adverse CAG reports in Gujarat pointing to misappropriation of over Rs 29,000 crore; (ii) bugging at transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s residence; (iii) a “lie” spoken in the Lok Sabha about 24-hour electricity in Gujarat villages.

Congress communications head Ajay Maken said Modi himself should answer questions on the CAG reports as they pertain to his tenure as Gujarat chief minister.

The second issue, bugging, was linked to Modi by the Congress, which suspects the role of Gujarat leaders who have now moved to Delhi.

The third relates to Modi’s first speech in Parliament during the motion of thanks to the President’s address in which he claimed success in giving 24-hour electricity to villages.

No final decision has been taken on moving a privilege motion against Modi for what the Congress claimed was a “lie” spoken in Parliament.

Although the Congress had been planning to aggressively raise the issue of communal tension, these new issues have now changed the agenda.

The Congress today dragged Modi’s name into the bugging controversy despite Gadkari denying any such act. Party spokesperson Shakti Sinh Gohil said: “The Prime Minister must answer in Parliament who is spying on Gadkari. Snooping has been a regular affair in Gujarat and India has now entered the snooping season with the protagonists moving to Delhi.”

Gohil argued: “Gadkari described the reports as highly speculative instead of refuting it. The BJP’s Subramanian Swamy confirmed snooping, although he blamed America for the act. We want the truth to come out….

“The experience of Gujarat raises valid questions. Everybody knows who talked about the saheb ordering snooping on a girl. The IGP of Gujarat intelligence confessed he was asked to tap the phone of Haren Pandya. The DGP Gujarat had said 95,000 phones were tapped illegally.”

Asked if the Congress was blaming Modi and Amit Shah for snooping on Gadkari, Gohil said: “We want a probe. We heard that Gadkari wrote to the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, complaining about hearing devices planted at his residence. We want the Prime Minister to clarify….”

On the CAG reports, Gohil said: “The CAG reports show how industrialists and business houses… were given undue benefits worth hundreds of crore. The rough estimate comes to around Rs 29,000 crore, and that shows where from the money for rallies, 3-D shows and media campaign was coming from….”

Gohil released an official document of the Gujarat government to prove that farmers were getting electricity for only eight hours, not 24 as Modi had claimed.

He said: “While speaking in the Lok Sabha on June 11, at 4.12pm, PM said we succeeded in providing electricity for 24 hours. PM jhooth bole hain.”