Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today derided Rahul Gandhi using his "earthquake" comment and said that he is "learning how to make speeches", in a stinging comeback after the Congress Vice President accused him of receiving crores in kickbacks as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
- PM Modi gave stinging reply to Rahul Gandhi's 'earthquake' comment
- If he hadn't spoken there could have been earthquake: PM Modi in Varanasi
- Mr Gandhi alleged PM got crores in kickbacks as Gujarat Chief Minister
"They have a youth leader; he is learning how to make speeches. Since the time he has learnt to speak, my happiness has no limits," the Prime Minister jibed at an event in his constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
"There would have been an earthquake had he not spoken... good that he has started speaking, we now know that there's no chance of an earthquake," he chuckled to his audience, commenting that there would have been an earthquake had Mr Gandhi not spoken, "one that people would have had to deal with for 10 years."
Mr Gandhi had declared at parliament last week that he would cause an "earthquake" by exposing what he called the "personal corruption of PM Modi," in the middle of acrimonious sparring over the government's ban on 500- and 1,000-rupee notes aimed at fighting corruption and black money.
Yesterday, Mr Gandhi chose the Prime Minister's home turf Mehsana in Gujarat to allege that income tax raids had revealed that the "Sahara group paid off Narendra Modi ji nine times in six months" starting 2013. He also said that computer records from a Birla Group official during raids in 2013 referred to bribes to "Gujarat CM".
If that was the quake, the BJP sneered, the case was before the Supreme Court, which had not found merit in the allegations. The court had said that there was no evidence.
The Prime Minister today also called the notes ban a "big cleanliness drive" and said on the criticism of opposition parties: "I never thought that some political parties and leaders would have the audacity to stand with the corrupt."
Blaming the opposition for an unproductive winter session, PM Modi said the chaos in parliament on the notes ban "is like cover fire that Pakistan gives to terrorists".