‘Society of thieves ganging up to remove the country’s chowkidar’: PM Modi attacks Congress

Baripada (Odisha): Lashing out at Congress leaders Rahul and Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said law will not spare anyone who “toyed” with national security between 2004 and 2014 and suggested links between them and the arrested British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.

Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in Odisha, he said the “society of thieves” was ganging up to remove the country’s ‘chowkidar’ who was out to expose and catch them. He alleged that there was a conspiracy to weaken the country’s defence forces during 2004-2014 and the revelation of facts was now “paining” the Congress leaders.

He also congratulated “India’s first woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for exposing those who misled the nation and played with the nation’s security for their own entertainment.

“Between 2004 and 2014, they conspired to weaken the country’s defence forces. The nation is now understanding that. And when our government is bringing the defence forces of the country out of their web of conspiracy, they are feeling pricked,” he said, adding, “Therefore, they want to remove the chowkidar (watchman) from their path at any cost. Be it the society or factories, thieves always try and conspire to remove the chowkidar to make their task easy. As long as the chowkidar remains, they are unable to operate.”

Modi said there were reports that a letter of the middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, Christian Michel, who has recently been brought to India from Dubai, had revealed that they had close ties with top Congress leaders and ministers.

“One letter of the middleman of helicopter scam and the ‘raazdar’ (holder) of Congress’ secrets Christian Michel — who has been extradited — has exposed that he had deep friendship with top Congress leaders,” he said.

The middleman was aware of the movement of files in the Prime Minister’s Office and even the details of deliberations of the Cabinet Committee on Defence, he claimed, adding that Michel had information of every movement of files.

“Perhaps, middlemen had more information than the prime minister himself,” he said.

The middleman was also passing on crucial information related to defence, security and weapons procurement abroad, Modi said.

“I fail to understand if the Congress ran the government or Michel ‘mama’s darbar’ (uncle’s court). I want to clearly state today that investigation will take place against all those who worked for the interest of the middlemen instead of national interest,” he added.

Modi said his government was taking strong decisions for the nation’s security. “I assure you that those who did injustice to the nation’s defence forces will be brought to justice. I assure you that law won’t spare anyone.”

The Prime Minister started his speech with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ chants and said it was necessitated because “some people in our country have problem with these slogans as well”.

In a reference to Rahul Gandhi, he said the leader of the country’s oldest party asks why Modi greets people with ‘Bharat Ma Ki Jai’ slogans.

“In Madhya Pradesh, a new government has been formed — which has not even won a complete majority. And look at that government’s priority — the first thing the hung Assembly led by the Congress did was to attack ‘Vande Mataram’,” Modi said, referring to the Madhya Pradesh’s order suspending singing of Vande Mataram on the first working day of every month in the Secretariat.

“It (the order) kicked up a storm and now they are trying to find a way out,” he said.

“Second thing they did was to try and stop the pension of those who fought against the Emergency to defend India’s democracy. But due to efforts of the BJP workers, they had to take back their order on ‘Vande Mataram’, and now they would also have to reinstate the pension of those who fought against Emergency,” the Prime Minister said.

He also attacked the Odisha government for not doing enough for women and said the Central government’s efforts for women empowerment were not reaching the women of Odisha as “the state government is not serious about women welfare”.

He said Odisha was lagging behind on parameters related to women health and well-being.

(With agency inputs)