South Asia | Rahul under pressure to 'dish dirt on Prime Minister Modi’
If Rahul Gandhi has papers to prove personal corruption of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he should reveal it to public. Photo/Reuters
If Rahul Gandhi has papers to prove personal corruption of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he should reveal it to public. Photo/Reuters

Rahul under pressure to ‘dish dirt on Prime Minister Modi’

As the Indian Parliament is likely to be washed out on Friday, Congress leader may soon be forced to expose PM's graft dealings outside the House

NEW DELHI, December 15, 2016 7:56 PM (UTC+8)

Pressure is building on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to reveal details of corruption involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a party meeting, press conference or an alternative forum as the last day of India’s winter session is likely to be washed out on Friday.

Days after Rahul asked lawmakers to be ready for an “earthquake” in Parliament when he speaks on demonetization, he said on Wednesday that he had explosive information on corruption involving Modi.

While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party described Rahul’s latest remark as joke of the year, leaders of Congress and other opposition parties are clueless as to what he is talking about.

BJP leaders say Rahul is afraid of divulging it outside Parliament as it may have legal consequences if proved wrong whereas he gets full immunity if the disclosure is made inside the House. But he is unlikely to divulge the information in Parliament as its winter session ends on Friday.

Congress and other Opposition parties fear the credibility of the grand old party will be further eroded if Rahul keeps talking without proving anything against Modi.

Amid Thursday’s bedlam, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said outside Parliament that Rahul is writing the last chapter of Congress.

“Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party should understand that with an expired script, they are writing the last chapter of Congress in free India. They should also understand that so many scams took place during their time that it would only hamper their image,” Naqvi said.

Taxpayers said they were hurt over the money spent on wasted parliament time.

“Running Parliament is a costly business. Each minute costs some Rs 250,000 rupees [US$3,700], which is taxpayers’ money. During this winter session, there were no lively debates. Instead, lawmakers wasted time by shouting at each other and disrupting House proceedings. Is this democracy,” E. Bhargavi, a high school teacher from Irinjalakuda, told Asia Times on the phone.

“No wonder veteran BJP leader LK Advani felt like resigning today over the deadlock in Parliament.”

Advani was so upset by the pandemonium in Parliament that he sat alone for a while after others left during adjournment.

When the session resumed, he requested that all party leaders hold a meeting with the House speaker for the smooth functioning of Parliament.

He condemned the battle of egos among party leaders saying that, while each of them may claim victory, Parliament is the ultimate loser.

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