Sahara/Birla bribery allegation against PM Modi: Trinamool demands CBI probe


Trinamool Congress today demanded a CBI probe into Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups.

“The Congress Vice President raised the issue of corruption at a public meeting in Gujarat today. Trinamool Congress welcomes the move”, TMC chief national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said.

“The TMC had first raised this issue in 2014 and there must be a proper investigation into it. If necessary, the CBI should probe the matter for the truth to come out,” he said.

Gandhi today alleged that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry into it, a charge BJP rejected as an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe in which the names of Congress leaders and the “family” were coming up.

Meanwhile, Congress too demanded Narendra Modi face an independent inquiry as the allegations of personal corruption against him have led to “serious question of credibility”.

“We all have great respect for the Prime Minister. (But) there is serious question of credibility…Credibility of the Prime Minister is at stake…honesty and integrity (at stake)”

“Let him not hide behind cronies and ministers. The Prime Minister should come forward and say whether the charge is true or false. If false, why not subject himself to an independent inquiry,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Noting that Sita also had to face a test, he recalled Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi too had faced a test when she had resigned as a member of the Lok Sabha in the wake of BJP’s charges on the office of profit issue.

He reminded the Prime Minister that even BJP veteran L K Advani had resigned from the Lok Sabha when his name had figured in a hawala diary.

Taking a dig at BJP leaders and Union Ministers who have targeted Rahul, Surjewala said, “Anger is the refuge of the weak. Truth walks alone”. He said BJP leaders should realise the charge against the Prime Minister are not based on hearsay nor are part of political mudslinging.

“Should there not be an investigation to find out the truth? If such evidence had surfaced against any other Indian, would there not have been a CBI investigation?,” he asked.

The Congress leader was evasive when asked as which type of probe the party was seeking when it is demanding an “independent inquiry”. He said only recently a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe was demanded by the Opposition in Parliament on the demonetisation issue.

Replying to a question, he said the Modi government should proceed against Opposition leaders including those of the Congress if the case againt the Prime Minister also brings out irregularities committed by them.

In an exclusive report by Janta Ka Reporter last month, it was revealed how entries recovered from the raids on Sahara and Birla groups had mention of Rs 65 crores of payment to PM Modi during his time as Gujarat CM.