Gandhis lead comfortable life without working: Jaitley

Union minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at the party office in New Delhi, on April 3. PTI

A day after the Congress attempted to orient the 2019 Lok Sabha poll narrative on the "Nyaya" scheme promising minimum income to the poor, the BJP on Wednesday launched an attack on Nehru-Gandhi family asking what their source of income has been.

Income, Jaitley claimed, that has guaranteed them "more than a comfortable life" even when none of them "ever worked for a living".

In a blog titled "Rahul Gandhi and His Sweetheart Deals with Fly-by-Night Operators”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is virtually leading the media campaign against the Congress, tried to bring the "Chowidar versus Chor" narrative in the poll campaign, raising questions over a tenancy arrangement entered into by the Nehru-Gandhi family.

"For generations, the family did not earn from any commercial ventures. They were in public service. All have led more than a comfortable life. They enjoyed vacations at multiple domestic & international locations. Surely, money comes from 'sweetheart deals' & shady income," Jaitley tweeted.

Latching on to a news website report on a farm house owned by Indira Gandhi first and now by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, he claimed the members of Gandhi family had entered into a sweet deal to make money by taking advance in crores for renting particular buildings.

As Congress ratchets up the attack on Modi government on Rafale issue, Jaitley reminded the Congress that "here is a man (Rahul) who makes reckless allegations without any basis. It was no rocket science for him to know who were conferring him with largesse. He aspires to be a prime minister. Such aspirants like Caesar’s wife must be beyond suspicion. They must be unsuspectable. "

Jaitley also went on to say: "with tainted hands, he must at least remember that 'people in glass houses do not throw stones'. The 'Chowkidar' has finally caught a 'Chor'."

While the BJP is attacking the first family in Congress on the one hand, alleging that the entire dynasty is corrupt, it is also seeking to paint the Congress as "anti-army", flagging its manifesto promise of amending Armed Forces Special Powers Act as an attempt to "take away the shield" from the jawans of army fighting in the terror terrain.

The Balakot aerial strike against the JeM terror camp had given the BJP an edge that was getting blunt with passage of time, but by raising questions on it, Sam Pitroda, who is close to Rahul Gandhi, had given the BJP an issue.

As the Congress sought to deepen its connect with rural India with a focus on "gaon" and "gareeb kisan", the BJP was not in a position to say anything more than "it is not doable", but the AFSPA issue has given it fresh ammunition.

Speaking in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the Congress manifesto "dhakosala patra" (a document of deceit), in which "Congress has promised that it will remove the safety shield ("suraksha kawach") of the army.

"The Congress is making promises that help the patrons of terrorists sitting in Pakistan," Modi said.

Addressing a press conference in BJP national headquarters in Delhi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said many of the provisions in the Opposition party's manifesto are a threat to the country as they favour separatists and terrorists; they will demoralise the armed forces.

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