BARIPADA: A day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s searing rebuttal of Congress allegations on Rafale deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched into the party saying “thieves cannot have their way as long as the Chowkidar (watchman) is present”.
Retaliating against AICC president Rahul Gandhi’s “Chowkidar” barb, Modi at a public meeting in Baripada said, there was a conspiracy to weaken the country’s defence forces during the tenure of UPA Government and revelation of facts is now putting Congress leaders in the dock.
“Be it the society or factories, thieves always try and conspire to remove the Chowkidar to make their task easy. That is why they (Congress leaders) want to remove the Chowkidar from their path at any cost,” he said.
Even as people of Odisha expected Modi to train guns on the BJD Government in the State, the Prime Minister in most part of his speech dwelt on Congress calumny on Rafale and how the Opposition party had been working to weaken the security of the country.
Asserting that no one will be spared in the Augusta Westland VVIP chopper scam, the Prime Minister said now details of Congress’ patronage of Christian Michel, the middleman and the prime accused in the chopper deal, is fast emerging. It has now been revealed that the middleman (Michel) has deep contact with top Congress leaders and had minute to minute information about the movement of files in the Prime Minister’s office.
He was also getting classified information on the decisions of Cabinet Committee on Security, which deals with country’s security and arms procurement. He was supplying all information related to defence deals to foreign countries. The middleman had more information on several matters than the then Prime Minister, he said.
“We can’t understand whether the Congress was running the Government or the ‘durbar’ of Michel mama. But, law will not allow anyone to escape,” he asserted while congratulating Minister Sitharaman for exposing the Opposition lies before the country.He also attacked the Congress for stopping recital of Vande Mataram in Government offices in Madhya Pradesh and making moves to suspend the pension provided to people who fought Emergency to save democracy. “This has exposed the character of Congress and people will give a befitting answer to this,” he said.
Modi then turned focus on the issue of Odisha but the aggression was distinctly missing. He criticised the State Government for its failure in ensuring welfare and safety of women. Raising the alleged Pipili gangrape case, he said, “The victim did not get justice due to shoddy investigation. I urge the State Government to take it seriously and reinvestigate the case so that the culprits get punished and the message goes loud and clear.”
He alleged that despite two decades in power, the State Government has not been able to take proper health, education and welfare measures for women and children. The Centre has launched many schemes but the State has failed to implement those and as a result, it is below the national average on several indicators.
The Prime Minister’s focus on the issues of women in Odisha seems to have been timed to counter Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who on Saturday, launched several financial assistance measures for women self help groups including interest-free loans for them.