NEW DELHI: Breaking his silence, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his former party colleague Jayanthi Natarajan had been pitted against him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he had been fighting for the poor and other weaker sections of the society.
"Ek din maine Modiji ke baare mein kuch kaha, agle din unhone Natrajan ko khada kiya (One day, I said something about Modi, the very next day, he put up Natarajan)," the Congress Vice President said at a rally here.
This was his first reaction to Natarajan's allegation that he used to interfere in grant of green nods when she was Environment Minister before being forced out in December 2013. She resigned from the party on Saturday last.
"I want to tell you that I have fought for the poor and the adivasis and I had told Jayanthi Natarajan that we should look into the welfare of the environment, poor and the adivasis. I will continue to fight for the poor, the hutsmen and the weaker sections," the Congress vice-president said at an election rally here.
Alleging that the Prime Minister is working only to benefit his "industrial friends", he said he had joined politics to ensure welfare for the poor and the weaker sections of the society and not to benefit some businessmen.
Natarajan had last Saturday resigned from the primary membership of Congress alleging that she was "vilified" for rejecting green nod to industrial projects during her tenure as Environment Minister, which she said she had done following communications by the Congress vice-president.
She had also written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few months back alleging that she had received specific requests from Rahul on environmental clearances and consequently rejected big ticket projects, a contention she reaffirmed at the time of announcing her resignation.
Latching on to her remarks, BJP had launched a scathing attack on the Congress leadership accusing Rahul of interfering in the government work.