New Delhi: A day after he was disqualified from Lok Sabha as a member, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday categorically said that he was not scared of anyone and will keep continuing to ask what is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with billionaire businessman Gautam Adani.
He also said ‘the whole game was orchestrated to defend Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Adani issue’.
“I am here defending the democratic voice of the Indian people. If they think that by disqualifying me, and intimidating and putting me in jail, I will stop, I won’t stop asking the question what is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with Adani,” the former Congress president in his maiden press conference after disqualification from Lok Sabha as a member, referring to the Adani issue.
He added, “I am fighting for the ‘democracy’ of the country. I will continue to do that. I am not scared of anyone.’
“I have been disqualified because the PM is scared of my next speech on Adani. He is ‘terrified’ of the next speech. They don’t want that speech to come in Parliament. That is why first the distraction, now the disqualification,” the Congress leader said, attacking the PM.
He added, “It is an old relationship of Modi that began when he was the CM of Gujarat. I have asked only one question to the government. In the Parliament House with proper documentation in detailI told about the relationship of Narendra Modi ji and Adani ji. But, my speech was expunged.”
“I asked the PM a very set of questions. Rs 20,000 crore are in shell companies owned by Adani. He could not have generated this money? Where has this money come from ? Whose money is this? There is a Chinese national involved in this. The whole game, disqualification and all the statements are to distract from the central question of whose Rs 20,000 crore it is,” he said.
Accusing the Cabinet Ministers of the Narendra Modi-led government of levelling false allegations against him, the Congress leader said, “BJP Ministers lied about me in Parliament , they made the statement to distract from the Adani issue.”
“They said that I had asked foreign forces to help India . Most ridiculous statement, I have never made such a statement,” he said referring to his recent UK visit.
The ruling BJP has been demanding an apology from him over his ‘democracy’ remarks during the visit.
He also alleged that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had not allowed him to make a statement in the House despite his repeated requests on the same.
“A minister lied on the floor of the House, I wrote to the Speaker and said it is my right if somebody makes an accusation, to state my position . The first letter is not answered , I then wrote a second letter with more details , still no answer . Then, I went to the Speaker’s chamber, and said you are the defender of democracy, why are you not allowing me to make a statement. The Speaker said I cannot do that,” the Congress leader said.
In response to a question, he said, “My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi. Gandhi does not apologise to anyone.”
He further said, “This (disqualification) gave a big weapon to the Opposition. I express my gratitude to all the Opposition parties (who extended support to him). We will all work together.”
The former Congress president was disqualified from Lok Sabha as a member on Friday, a day after he was convicted in a defamation case by a court in Gujarat’s Surat on Thursday for his alleged “all thieves have Modi surname” remarks at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in 2019.
Several Opposition members including Congress have been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Hindenburg Research report over Adani Group.
The Hindenburg Research report alleged that Adani Group had engaged in stock manipulation and accounting fraud schemes over the course of decades.