Modi avoiding media, should come clean on funding: Rajmohan

Last Updated 20 March 2014, 12:31 IST

Launching a fresh attack on Narendra Modi, AAP leader Rajmohan Gandhi today said the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate should come clean on his election funding and subject himself to media scrutiny on his so-called achievements.

Gandhi said that he was in favour of AAP's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal taking on Modi in Varanasi since the Gujarat Chief Minister was under the impression that nobody was willing to challenge him.

"Nobody was taking him (Modi)on. He has never met any journalist for any frank questions, except for a pre-arranged special interview. Very few journalists have had the opportunity to ask him questions like that. He had become beyond attack, but now Arvind Kejriwal has asked some basic questions which have occurred to everybody", Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, told PTI in an interview.

"He has these huge rallies and travels in a chartered plane. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong in that, there could be a good reason for that. But you should say who pays for the rally," he said.

Gandhi, a noted academician, said that Modi's claims did not match with reality."His claims are inconsistent with the record. Suppose, he had done anything on corruption in Gujarat then he could say I will solve corruption. There is no suggestion that he did that," he said.

Gandhi, who takes on two-time MP from Congress Sandeep Dixit, who has represented East Delhi since 2004, said that he chose to contest from that constituency only after consultation with the party.

"East Delhi was chosen in consultation with the party. East Delhi has been strong in support of Aam Aadmi Party. It also has important link with UP, and has industries. It has population living from all parts of India."

Gandhi, who begun campaigning in East Delhi a couple of weeks back, noted that the constituency lacked infrastructure.

"It is greatly in need of infrastructure and there is a challenge. There is a long list of problems. Sanitation is a problem, parking of vehicle, water sewage, insecurity of women and it is not well protected.

"Half of Okhla pays Rs 2000 a month per home for drinking water because there is no water available. MCD is with BJP and Congress has been at the Centre and in the state and problems have not been addressed," he said, adding that these problems could be addressed only in cooperation with MLAs, Municipal Corporation and DDA.

After Gandhi was given the ticket from East Delhi, many party workers complained of "parachuting" the candidate.

"90 people applied for the ticket and without exception they are supporting my candidature. Yes, people were disappointed, but now they are with me," he said. He said that he had initially resisted the idea of joining AAP and also faced a lot of opposition from the family.

"The party first approached me around January 12 and I turned it down. At that time, I was embarking on my literary work.

"But then the invitation was repeated and it was quite persistent and then I saw many people were applauding from the sidelines, but no one was coming in front", he said.

Gandhi said that his family too was initially opposed to the idea of contesting elections."They were looking forward for more leisurely time with me. They wanted to spend more time with me.

"Also the risks, the public attack. Family members' don't like that. There are physical risks...health. But then they changed their mind towards the end and I am here only because of the green light given by them. But the green light was offered after a lot of cogitation and conflict in their mind."

Gandhi said that he wanted to play the role of an elderly and keep the party united learning from the JP experiment.

"If I succeed in winning the election, I would have some clout in the party and I would be able to assist in lending a moral and intellectual strength to the party and keeping the party united.

"You see the JP experiment and people split and went all over the place. There are differences. It is human nature," he added.

(Published 20 March 2014, 12:31 IST)

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