Mehsana (Gujarat): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi received crores in kickbacks when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Rahul claimed that when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, he received multiple payments spread across 2013-14 from Sahara and Birla.
Rahul claimed that when the Income-Tax department raided Sahara’s premises in 2014, they recovered documents showing that payments have been made to Modi between the months of October 2013 and February 2014.
Speaking at a public rally in Mehsana - Prime Minister Modi's native district, which will vote for a new government in 2017, Rahul Gandhi reeled off a set of figures to allege that Income Tax raids had revealed that the "Sahara group paid off Narendra Modiji nine times in six months" starting 2013.
“As per record with IT, Rs 2.5 cr was given to PM Modi on 30 Oct ’13; Rs 5 cr on 12 Nov ’13; Rs 2.5 cr on 27 Nov ’13; Rs 5cr on 29 Nov ’13. Entries showed Rs 5cr given to PM Modi on 6 Dec ’13; Rs 5 cr on 19 Dec ’13; Rs 5cr on 13 Jan ’14; Rs 5 cr on 28 Jan ’14; Rs 5 cr 22 Feb ’14,” Gandhi said.
"Birla paid Rs 25 crore to Modi Ji. Sahara diary revealed that Modi was paid bribe regularly. Why Income Tax did not probe this angle. Entire record is with I-T", Rahul alleged amid the slogan of 'Modi Chor hai'.
The records are with the IT Department for the last two and a half years yet no action has been taken," Mr Gandhi said, also demanding, "We want an independent inquiry... We want you to come forward and tell the country yourself."
The Congress Vice President again accused PM Modi of not allowing him to speak in parliament during the winter session that ended last week.
Gandhi had earlier asked whether his speaking in parliament would cause an earthquake and a few days later had claimed that he had evidence of "personal corruption of PM Modi," but did not reveal what it was.
The BJP has called the Congress leader a "bluffmaster" and said he was insulting the Supreme Court which has already rejected these allegations.
"People of India have stopped taking him seriously. Rahul Gandhi is just bluff and bluster. There is no substance in what he says. He is just showing his and his party's incompetence," party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Gandhi of "talking irrelevant things to stay relevant," and said his comments must be discounted.
He pointed out that such allegations had already been made by activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court, which said that these were unsubstantiated allegations and that there would be no probe.
"The highest court of the country has spoken, so why does Rahul seem to think that there's any basis to his allegations?" Patra asked.
Gandhi however said he was raising the issue on behalf of the country which needs answers over the questions raised against the Prime Minister.
"PM Modi takes bribes and then shamelessly foists Demonetisation on Indians under the garb of 'fighting Black Money," Congress tweeted after the rally quoting its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
"Rahulji asks if Modiji received this money from Sahara or not? If this document is with Income Tax, will Modi now investigate it?," tweeted party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. .