New Delhi: Unsparing in his criticism of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi insinuated that the mother and son were corrupt which is why they are now asking for bail.
Referring to the ongoing National Herald case of cheating and misappropriation, in which the two Congress leaders were granted unconditional bail, Modi, said, “They did do something wrong, that’s why they are asking for bail, both ‘maa and beta’ (mother and son).”
The Prime Minister further said it was not him who “raised the finger against corruption”, adding that corruption has been an issue for India for a long time.
“The National Herald case…did this happen in our time? Did Lalu Yadav’s case happen during our time? Whatever was put in cold storage, we thought we should take it out and let it take its due course in the name of law,” he said.
Now, if these things come forward then the person who has done them needs to come forward too,” Modi said in an interview to Network 18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.
Modi said he had never attacked the Gandhi family in the last 4-5 years but fact remained that he was “ideologically opposed to dynasty politics.”
“I have never attacked them personally. That's why, to gain sympathy from saying that I have done so… 'Modi humare saath yeh kar rahe hain, Modi humare saath…' there is no anger. It is an ideological belief, dynasty politics is bad for India's democracy,” Modi said.
This is not the first time that Modi has referred to the National Herald case and the Gandhis. Last year, at an election rally in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur, Modi had said that he didn’t need a certificate of honesty from the mother-son duo who were themselves out on bail.
The Supreme Court last week said it will hear from April 23 the final arguments on an appeal filed by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi against the Delhi High Court order allowing re-assessment of their Income Tax filings for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case.
On January 8, ITD had informed the apex court that an assessment order (AO) with respect to the tax of Rahul and Sonia for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case has been passed but has not been given effect.
The top court had allowed the AO, passed on December 31, 2018 raising the tax demand from them and others, to be placed on record after the ITD insisted on it but said that it would not form any opinion on the merits of the case on its basis. It had asked Sonia and Rahul to file an affidavit and place on record in four weeks a CBDT circular which was issued on December 31, 2018 to clarify about taxes on valuations, but was recalled on January 4.
The court asked the I-T department to file its reply to the affidavit and the circular to be filed by the Congress leaders within a week thereafter. The tax matter is related to the National Herald case in which other the Congress leaders are also facing criminal proceedings.
(The full interview will be aired today at 7pm and 10pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)