Rahul Gandhi has been training his guns at the Prime Minister for quite some time now. As is the nature of electoral politics, the jibes and allegations have been hurled with impunity. However, with Rahul Gandhi, along with the jibes, one gets a healthy dose of lies being peddled while the media plays Nero’s guests. A similar lie has been peddled by Rahul Gandhi with regards to the economic fugitive Nirav Modi. Rahul Gandhi has constantly blamed the Prime Minister for Nirav Modi absconding and has drawn strange parallels between the two.
Recently, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter, his brand-new core constituency, and blamed PM Modi yet again.
The video of fugitive #NiravModi in London shows an uncanny similarity between him & his bhai, PM Modi.
Both have looted India and are called Modi.
Both refuse to answer any questions.
Both believe they are above the law.
Both will face justice. https://t.co/20Y36iVj2Y
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 9, 2019
However, the question that several people have asked, is that who is truly responsible for the massive financial fraud perpetrated by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi? While the Congress has used this as one of their election planks to attack the Prime Minister, its own sins that facilitated the scam have been less spoken off.
The Enforcement Directorate has already clarified that request for Extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018 to the UK. The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the Extradition Request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for the District Judge for further proceedings. However, one wonders why Nirav Modi felt the need to ‘abscond’ now, when he was living in India, with impunity, for all these years.
Recently, when the Congress was trying to bat for ousted CBI Director Alok Verma, it even disregarded the fact that Alok Verma was allegedly instrumental in covering up in leakage of internal emails on Nirav Modi in 13,000 crores PNB scam according to the CVC report. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was on the 3 member panel to decide the ouster was the only dissenting voice in the decision to remove Alok Verma from his post. If Congress was truly concerned about the Nirav Modi scam, why did this consideration not play in their decision-making process?
Moreover, one must recall that not too long ago, it was reported that the former Finance secretary Rajiv Takru, working under the erstwhile UPA government had tried to “silence” the PNB whistleblower in 2013. Incidentally, it was the same time that Shehzad Poonawalla, the rebel Congress leader claims that Rahul Gandhi himself had met Nirav Modi. Besides this, it has been alleged that Finance Minister P Chidambaram himself had signed the whistleblower’s termination letter. The Rs 11,000 crores financial scam by Nirav Modi had started under the Congress government itself in 2011. In fact, it was also reported that an unnamed Congress leader was involved in cash deals with Nirav Modi’s stores during the demonetisation period, raising question over the suspicious nature of these transactions and a link between Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Nirav Modi had also emerged.
In August 2018, David Dorsett, Mehul Choksi’s lawyer has claimed that Choksi had ‘loose alliance’ with the Congress which ‘flamed’ the situation, implying the case against him is a case of a political witchhunt. In a conversation with Republic, Dorsett has claimed that there are ‘serious political elements involved’ in the case. Choksi’s lawyer also called Nirav Modi, his nephew, also an accused in the financial fraud, a ‘scapegoat’ and that the authorities are trying to pin the matter on him. He further says that a very serious political element is involved in this whole matter and the political climate in India is heated up in a very ‘serious way’ especially with the elections coming up next year. He claimed that “the politicians in splints right now. They are trying to carry as much popular support as they can and the situation with Mr Choksi has to be seen in that context”. In this context, BJP had even cornered Congress over fielding Mehul Choksi’s lawyer as a candidate in Karnataka Assembly elections.
Interestingly, on 16th May 2014, the day election results were declared with Prime Minister Modi winning the elections, P. Chidambaram, the then finance minister, had signed an order to benefit 13 companies including Mehul Choksi, who is Nirav Modi’s uncle. The 20:80 scheme that was sanctioned by Congress leader P Chidambaram allowed 13 ‘star trading houses (STH)’ and ‘premier trading houses (PTH)’, including Choksi-led Gitanjali Gems to import gold and sell about 80 per cent of their total bullion shipment in local markets. This scheme ended up encouraging gold hoarding and aided these traders to artificially inflate the retail prices. In fact, the Jewellers Association had warned about the repercussions of this decision and had blamed the Congress government of favouring crony capitalism. The warnings had fallen on deaf ears and ignored not only by the Congress government but also the RBI head, Raghuram Rajan.
Essentially, the scam that was levelled by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi originated with the order signed by P Chidambaram encouraging crony capitalism, defended by friendly media. With every revelation, Congress’ tentacles in this scam become apparent. From the 20:80 Gold Scheme, to the Congress connections and the fact that Rahul Gandhi had potentially himself met Nirav Modi.
With all of these connections, one wonders how Rahul Gandhi uses the Nirav Modi card to attack the Prime Minister with impunity. PM Modi had once asked why Nirav Modi felt the need to flee the country now when it is the Modi government in power and not during the Congress regime. The answer seems to be simple, and yet, Nero’s guests played ably by the media have shied away from asking Rahul Gandhi the questions that need to be asked.