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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

‘How many bags full of black money have come?’ PM stink bombs Adani and Ambani, Congress collars him

In a stunning and intriguing turn of events, Modi on Wednesday questioned why the Congress’s “shehzada” (prince) had stopped “abusing” the two leading industrialists and suggested a huge payoff, but the claim appeared to belie facts

J.P. Yadav, Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 09.05.24, 04:57 AM
Modi at a temple in Vemulawada, Telangana, on Wednesday.

Modi at a temple in Vemulawada, Telangana, on Wednesday. PTI picture.

“Ambani-Adani se kitna maal uthaya hai? Kaale dhan ke kitne bore bhar-bhar ke rupiye maare hain (How much money has been lifted from Ambani-Adani? How many bags full of black money have come?)”

If you thought Rahul Gandhi has launched yet another attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Congress leader’s pet charge of crony capitalism, think again.

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The man behind the Ambani-Adani jibe is, hold your breath, Narendra Modi.

In a stunning and intriguing turn of events, Modi on Wednesday questioned why the Congress’s “shehzada” (prince) had stopped “abusing” the two leading industrialists and suggested a huge payoff, but the claim appeared to belie facts.

Paanch saal tak Ambani-Adani ko gaali diya aur raato-raat galiyan band ho gayi. Matlab koi na koi chori ka maal, tempo bhar bhar ke aapne paaya hai (For five years you abused Ambani-Adani and suddenly the diatribes stopped overnight. It means you have received tempo-loads of looted money),” Modi told a rally in Telangana’s Karimnagar.

The Telegraph tried to reach out to the Ambani and Adani concerns for a reaction to Modi’s comments. Neither company could be reached.

Hours after Modi’s attack, Rahul put out a video statement, caustically daring him to send the “CBI-ED” to “Ambani-Adani” and “conduct a thorough inquiry at the earliest and not be scared”.

“Namaskar Modiji.. have you got scared?” the Congress leader asked.

“Normally you speak about Ambani-Adani behind closed doors. This is for the first time you have spoken about them in public. You also know that they distribute money in tempos. Is it from personal experience?” Rahul asked. “The country knows who is the ‘driver’ and the ‘helper’ of the BJP’s tempo of corruption,” Rahul added.

The Congress’s X handle put out a collage of video clips of Rahul’s recent election speeches, as latest as Tuesday in Jharkhand, to call out Modi’s “lie”.

“Aapko nirnay lena hai Modiji Adnaiji ki sarkar banani hai ya phir kisano ki banani hai, garibon ki banani hai (You have to decide, you want a government of Modi and Adani or that of farmers and the poor),” Rahul is heard saying in the video clip. He had addressed two poll rallies in Jharkhand’s Chaibasa and Lohardaga on Tuesday and made the “Modi-Adani” reference at both places.

Four days ago in an Instagram reel on the Agniveer scheme, Rahul had said: “This scheme is harming the youth of the country while billionaires like Adani are benefitting. A 75-year-old man is retiring 22-year-olds to help his friends.”

Congress media in-charge Jairam Ramesh pointed to Rahul’s unrelenting attacks on what he alleges is a “nexus” between Adani-Ambani and Modi.

“Since April 3, 2024, Rahul Gandhi has mentioned Adani 103 times and Ambani more than 30 times in his speeches. A JPC will be formed as soon as the INDIA bloc comes to power on June 4, 2024, to investigate the Modani scam — which has an estimated price tag of at least 2 lakh crore,” he said.

Ramesh added that the BJP was sensing defeat and the “Prime Minister is now spooked even by his own shadow”.

This was the first time Modi had publicly referred to “Ambani-Adani” in the political context in the past five years. He had never responded to Rahul’s almost obsessive attack on him using the coinage “Ambani-Adani ki sarkar”.

The shift in the BJP talisman’s campaign after polling in more than half of the 543 Lok Sabha seats had been completed left even sections of BJP leaders puzzled. An old-timer said he was unable to understand the “strategy behind” the top leader doing so.

Modi, however, dropped the line of attack in his subsequent two rallies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, focusing instead on exploiting Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s contentious remarks.

While referring to “Ambani-Adani”, Modi’s body language was aggressive and he appeared unusually agitated. “Kya sauda hua hai? Aapne raato raat Ambani-Adani inko gaali dena bandh kar diya. Zarur daal mein kuch kaala hai (What deal has been struck? You have stopped abusing Ambani-Adani overnight. There is certainly something fishy),” he said.

The Congress claimed the Prime Minister had himself publicly acknowledged what Rahul has been repeatedly saying — that the two corporate honchos “have black money”. “Rahul Gandhi has compelled Prime Minister Narendra Modi to talk about this corruption,” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said.

“The tide of this election has turned so violently that the ‘pappa’ of ‘hum do hamare do’ is turning on his own children,” Ramesh said.

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