Verbal volleys fly between Modi, Rahul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dismissed the idea of a grand alliance to challenge him in the Lok Sabha elections as 'grand adulteration' (maha-milavat) and sought to establish the superiority of his 55-month rule over the 55-year reign of the Congress.

Responding to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Modi launched a full-scale attack on the Congress and reminded them that it was Mahatma Gandhi who wanted the party to be disbanded after Independence and he was merely fulfilling his wish through the Congress-mukt Bharat campaign.

Singling out Congress President Rahul Gandhi's slogan 'chowkidar chor hai', the Prime Minister said it was ironical that the thief is scolding the chowkidar (watchman).

Separately, Rahul launched a no-holds-barred attack on Modi and the RSS by dubbing them as "cowards" who had the habit of turning their back and running away when they faced challenges.

Rahul claimed that Modi "flew to Beijing" to meet the Chinese leadership "with folded hands" when they sent their troops to Doklam.

"Chinese government realised Mr 56 inches is not even 4 inches. This is Modi’s character, he bowed down to China on the Doklam issue,” he said, addressing the national convention of the AICC Minority Department here.

Modi hit out at the Congress for raising objections over the Rafale deal contending that the Supreme Court had examined the matter and found that everything was in order.

“I used to wonder how the Congress can speak lies on Rafale with so much confidence. Then I realised because they know in all their years in power there hasn't been a single honest defence deal. Some mama, some chacha kept coming in,” he said.

The Prime Minister accused the Congress of pitching for cancellation of the Rafale contract at the behest of a rival company.

Sending a message to Congress' alliance partners, Modi recalled Babasaheb Ambedkar's words: “Joining the Congress is akin to committing suicide.”

Modi also responded to Congress' charges against his government for undermining constitutional institutions.

“You dragged the Chief Justice of India into an impeachment process, you criticised the judiciary if a judgement did not go in your favour, you insulted the RBI, the Army Chief, the Election Commission, the CBI. And you have the gall to accuse me of undermining institutions,” the Prime Minister said.

At the AICC event, Rahul claimed that the RSS was attempting to capture the country's institutions, from the judiciary to the Election Commission.

Rahul declared that the Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh would root out Sangh sympathisers in the bureaucracy in the three states.

The Congress President said Modi's popularity had declined over the past five years.

“Five years back when Modi used to say 'acche din', the people used to respond 'aanewale hai' (better days are ahead), but now people say 'chowkidar chor hai',” Rahul said.

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Verbal volleys fly between Modi, Rahul

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