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Rahul Gandhi tears into Narendra Modi government on black money, Pakistan

NEW DELHI(PTI): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday launched a stinging attack in the Lok Sabha on Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of releasing Pakistan from a small “cage” in which it was put after the 26/11 attacks by his sudden visit to Lahore and bringing a “fair and lovely” scheme to launder black money.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi speaks in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

He also rapped Mr. Modi’s silence on the JNU row, especially the attack on journalists and teachers in the court. In acerbic remarks on his style of functioning, he said Mr. Modi did not listen to anyone’s opinion, including his Ministers and party MPs, on issues like his visit to Pakistan and the Naga accord.

Appealing to the Prime Minister to reach out to the Opposition, Mr. Gandhi made it clear that the opposition does not consider the government as an “enemy” and “does not hate you”.

Taking the floor in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the motion of thanks to President’s address, Mr. Gandhi, in a speech that was often interrupted by the BJP members accused Mr. Modi of “single-handedly destroying” six years of UPA work to put Pakistan into a small cage after 26/11 terror strikes, by visiting Pakistan.

“The work done by the UPA has made us all proud. We conducted panchayat elections, created self-help groups, which generated employment. We had broken the back of insurgency in Kashmir completely.

“And what did the Prime Minister do? He decided to have a cup of tea with Nawaz Sharif without any vision. He decided to take a detour to Pakistan. Just like the Naga Accord. He did not bother to consult anyone… the people in intelligence, the diplomats.

“Perhaps he did not even talk to (External Affairs Minister) Sushmaji. Only his opinion matters. He single-handedly destroyed the six years of work done by the UPA,” Mr. Gandhi said.

With Herculean efforts, he said, India managed to “isolate” Pakistan internationally and succeeded in projecting it as a “global supporter of terrorism”.

Mr. Gandhi said this was achieved by UPA by investing by working tirelessly and in taking account of diverse opinion ranging from opposition leaders, diplomats, armed forces and intelligence officers.

Picking on the one-time compliance window announced Union in the Budget as a “Fair and Lovely” scheme, Mr. Gandhi said this was nothing but a move to turn the black money into white.

“The Finance Minister has announced a new scheme — Fair and Lovely scheme. In this scheme, any thief of the country can convert his black money into white. If anyone indulges in corruption, he can convert his black money into white using the Fair and Lovely scheme,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Another highlight of Mr. Gandhi’s nearly 30-minute speech was his telling the Prime Minister that he should also reach out to the opposition for the greater good of the country.

“Listen to us. We are not your enemy, we do not hate you,” Mr. Gandhi told the Prime Minister.

Earlier he claimed that the Prime Minister does not consult anybody even in the government.

“PM does not listen to anybody; Even Home Minister was not aware of Naga Accord which PM signed,” Mr. Gandhi added.

On the issue of JNU, he faulted Mr. Modi for not speaking a word on the row.

“Why didn’t Prime Minister utter a word when teachers and media were attacked,” the Congress vice-president asked while referring to the raging row over the JNU episode.

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