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Rahul Gandhi says Narendra Modi insulting army by questioning Congress' claim of surgical strikes during UPA tenure

New Delhi: In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his party has 'demolished' the prime minister and the 'hollow structure will come crumbling down' in the next few days.

Addressing a media briefing, the Gandhi scion said: "Five years ago, it was said that Modiji cannot be defeated and it will rule for 10-15 years, that he is invincible. The Congress party has demolished Narendra Modiji, it is a hollow structure and in 10-20 days, it will come crumbling down. The work that we had to do, we have done it. Congress has changed the narrative by fighting on the ground." He also said the Congress will not allow the Indian institutions to be controlled and crushed.

"The Election Commission has to commit to their responsibility and they have to carry it out. All this institutional capture that is taking place and all the negative effect of it will have consequences in the future. We are not going to allow Indian institutions to be disturbed, controlled, and crushed," said Rahul.

While replying to a question on the BJP chief Amit Shah's allegation that Rahul's former business partner got the defence offset contract during the UPA's tenure, Rahul said he is ready for the investigations.

"Please undertake any investigation you want, do any inquiry you want, I am ready as I know I have not done anything wrong, but please also investigate Rafale", Rahul told reporters.

Rahul also stated that his party will keep on using the slogan of 'Chowkidar chor hai' as he hasn't apologised for its usage but for citing the Supreme Court in reference to the slogan. "The process (Rafale case) is going on in Supreme Court and I made a comment attributed to SC so I apologized. I did not apologise to BJP or Modiji. 'Chowkidar chor hai' is a reality and it will remain our slogan," he said.

He also promised to give 22 lakh jobs to the youth of the country and said: "Narendra Modi has badly damaged the economy of the country through demonetisation and GST. He has demonetised, and NYAY scheme will remonetise the economy. We guarantee giving government jobs to 22 lakh youth in the first year."

The press briefing by Congress president Rahul Gandhi comes amid a hard-fought electoral battle. The fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections is scheduled for 6 May. The results of all the phases will be announced on 23 May.

Rahul also slammed Modi for raising suspicion over the claims of the surgical strike during the UPA regime and asserted that doing so is an insult to the Army. On Thursday, Congress party claimed that six surgical strikes were conducted during former prime minister Manmohan Singh's regime from 2004 to 2014.

On Friday, Modi, in a rally in Rajasthan had said that the Congress had first objected "decisive" action against terrorist by way of surgical strikes and then claimed that they had also done the same. He also said the Congress leaders seem to play video games, and suggested that they treated surgical strikes in the same manner.

In response, Rahul said: "The Army, Air Force or Navy is not personal properties of Narendra Modiji like he thinks. When he says that surgical strikes during UPA were done in video games then he is not insulting Congress, but the Army. These air strikes were done by the Army and we do not politicise the Army. The prime minister should not insult the Army."

Rahul also claimed the Congress's internal assessment is clearly saying that the BJP is losing. "More than half of elections are over and there is a clear-cut feeling that Narendra Modi is losing. The main issues are jobs, farmers, corruption by the prime minister and attack on an institution.

"People of the country are asking questions. Unemployment is the biggest issue in front of the country. The country is asking that Narendra Modi had promised employment to 2 crore people, but today there is maximum unemployment in the country in 45 years. In Congress's manifesto, we have the first chapter on jobs whereas Narendra Modi is not speaking a word on jobs because he cannot speak over it.

"He cannot speak because he has no plan or vision on the issue," said Rahul.

The Congress president once again attacked the BJP on the issue of release of Masood Azhar and said, "Strictest of actions should be taken against Masood Azhar, but who sent him back to Pakistan? Who bowed down to terror and released him? Not the Congress, but it was the BJP Government."

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Updated Date: May 04, 2019 13:17:19 IST