Rahul asks Modi to tell nation who released Masood Azhar from jail

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally.   | Photo Credit: Atish Pomburfekar

Kick-starting the Karnataka leg of the Lok Sabha poll campaign from Haveri, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi sought answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on who released Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Moulana Masood Azhar from jail in India and took him to Kandahar for handing over to Pakistan.

Launching the poll campaign for the Congress party at the Municipal High School Grounds in Haveri on Saturday, Mr. Rahul Gandhi said in his speech that it was the BJP that let go of Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. “If you search the Internet, you will find details that it was the minister from his party Jaswant Singh and the present National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who accompanied Masood Azhar to Kandahar.  The Prime Minister should tell this in his speeches,” he said.

As a section of the crowd chanted "chowkidar chor hai (The watchman is the thief)," Mr. Gandhi referred to the ‘Anil Ambani- Modi connection several times to emphasise that while "Modi Sarkar" stood with the business tycoons and the rich, Congress would stand with the poor and the exploited class to help them.

"Mr. Modi came to power asking the people to make him chowkidar and after becoming the Prime Minister, this ‘chowkidar’ helped the likes of Anil Ambani, Adani and allowed his friends Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Mallya to flee from the country. He (PM) kept saying in his speeches that he will fight corruption but he himself is corruption”, Mr. Gandhi said.

Mr. Gandhi also sought answers from the Prime Minister on the Rafale deal and why the country was paying more and why HAL was denied the opportunity and the contract was given to Anil Ambani’s company. “I asked four questions to the Prime Minister in the Parliament. In his one-and-a-half-hour speech in reply,  Mr. Modi did not answer my questions. He evaded seeing me in the eyes while answering and looked here and there during his speech”, Mr. Gandhi said.

In the last five years Mr. Modi had the money to waive off loans to the tune of ₹3.5 lakh crores of 15 big industrialists and put ₹30,000 in the pocket of Anil Ambani. “He makes fun of the loan waiver scheme of Karnataka saying that it’s a lollypop. However in his own five years of rule he does not do anything for the farmers. And now he has disgraced the farmers by announcing to give ₹3.5 per day to them,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said that BJP and Mr. Modi were keen on creating two Indias - one that is of the likes of Anil Ambani, rich and affluent and the other of the poor and the exploited. “But Congress party would always strive hard for one India, where everyone gets justice”, he said.

“Modi  took money from your pockets and gave it to Ambani and Adani. Congress party when voted to power will put money into the accounts of the poor through the minimum income guarantee scheme,” he announced.

Mentioning that Mr. Modi had delivered a deadly blow to the common people and small scale businessmen and industrialists through demonetisation first and then through the "Gabbar Singh tax," Mr. Gandhi also announced that after being voted to power the UPA-led Congress government would further simplify the GST to make it a single tax. Mr. Gandhi said that his government would on priority get the bill passed to give reservation to women in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Legislative Assemblies and Councils. Before concluding he said the election was between RSS, BJP, and Mr. Modi on one side and poor and exploited people on the other side.

A host of Congress leaders attended the rally including Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Deputy Chief Minister D. Parameshwara, former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah and Veerappa Moily, Minister Zameer Ahmed, Congress leaders H.K. Patil, Eshwar Khandre, and B.K. Hariprasad among others.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 10:53:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rahul-asks-modi-to-tell-nation-who-released-masood-azhar-from-jail/article26480995.ece

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