Modi raises Agusta scam at Hosur rally

Modi raises Agusta scam at Hosur rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi used his maiden election address for the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls as a platform to indicate that those involved in the AgustaWestland scam should be punished.

Addressing a well-attended election rally at Hosur, around 40 km from Bengaluru along the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, Modi asked the crowd: “Do you have any relatives in Italy?”, the people answered in chorus, “no”. To this, Modi said: “I too do not have any relatives there. I have not seen Italy nor I know anybody. So if an Italian court accuses somebody of accepting a bribe in helicopter purchases, what can I do ?”

Modi said it was now inevitable that those involved in the scam, whatever their position, should be punished. The AgustaWestland scam has risen political temperatures with the BJP accusing the involvement of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Speaking in Hindi (which was translated into Tamil), Modi said the Tamil Nadu polls was not a battle of who will win but whether the state can be saved from the clutches of corruption or not.

“The people of Tamil Nadu had only two choices during elections. It was like jumping into the well and the next time into the valley,” Modi said, referring to the trend in the state of choosing alternatively between the AIADMK and the DMK, but did not mention the two parties. The prime minister said the people now had a third alternative in the form of the BJP.

He then went on to elaborate on the various schemes launched by the NDA government during the last two years. “Farmers used to wait in queue for two days to purchase urea. Today, farmers can get any amount of urea they want. The previous government looted coal to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. We auctioned the coal and utilised the funds for developmental schemes,” Modi said.

Rain no dampener

Modi was an hour late and the threat of rain loomed large with dark clouds hovering in the sky and it even poured when Modi was speaking, but the crowd did not lose patience.

The crowd consisted of a mix of both Kannada and Tamil speaking people and announcements were made in both languages.

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