New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a swipe at some leaders who have quit the Congress in recent years and some of whom have joined the BJP as he kept up his offensive against the government over the Adani issue.
“They hide the truth, that’s why they mislead every day! The question remains the same – whose Rs 20,000 crore benami money is in Adani’s companies?” Gandhi asked in a tweet in Hindi and attached an image with the names of the leaders with that of Adani.
He cited the names of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Kiran Kumar Reddy and Anil K Antony in his tweet. After quitting the Congress, Azad formed his own party, while the rest joined the BJP. Scindia is now a Union minister and Sarma the chief minister of Assam.
In another tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said, “How will inflation come down? How will the pain of the public be seen? The entire focus of the government is on increasing Adani’s income and protecting it from investigation.” He also put out a chart showing the increase in prices of commodities such as rice, wheat flour, milk, ghee, oil, pulses and gas cylinder between 2013 and 2023, and said “your pocket is being picked through price rise”.
Reacting to Gandhi on Twitter, Sarma said, “It was our decency to have never asked you, on where have you concealed the proceeds of crime from the Bofors and National Herald Scams. And how you allowed Ottavio Quattrocchi to escape the clutches of Indian justice multiple times. Any way we will meet in the Court of Law.”
Anil K Antony, another former Congressman and son of veteran Congress leader A K Antony, said it was “sad to see a former president of a national party – the so-called PM candidate of the Congress – speak like an online / social media cell troll and not like a national leader.”
“Very humbled to see my fledgling name also with these tall stalwarts who have contributed decades for nation building work – and had to leave the party as they preferred to work for India and our people and not for a family,” Antony said.
Azad squarely blamed Rahul Gandhi for his ouster from the Congress. He also alleged that one had to be “spineless” to be in the Congress.
Anil K Antony and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy have joined the BJP after quitting the Congress earlier this week. Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that those leaving the Congress had benefitted the most from the party.
“Rahul’s conduct has been very good in public. We condemn their statements. All these people are those who were the biggest beneficiaries of the Congress…,” she said in response to their attacks on Rahul Gandhi.
Targeting Azad, she said when his Rajya Sabha tenure ended he turned “ghulam from being azad” and is now speaking against the Congress leadership in order to save his house and to sell his book.
Shrinate also said that Scindia was the youngest to become a Union minister in the erstwhile Congress-led government and his recent attacks on Gandhi “shows his character”.
“When anyone leaves the Congress to (join) the BJP, this ideological somersault can be made by one who has to make a compromise either to save one’s house, to sell one’s book, or to end a controversy. It is not otherwise possible as there is a huge difference between the Congress and BJP ideologies,” the Congress spokesperson said.