As Manish Khanduri joined the Congress here on Saturday, party President Rahul Gandhi rubbed it in by saying the new entrant's father B C Khanduri had not been given his due by the BJP and had been removed from the chairmanship of a Parliamentary Committee for asking questions on national security.
Addressing a rally here in Uttarakhand, Gandhi also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that he was busy filming in Jim Corbett Park when the nation was mourning the death of 40 CRPF personnel in the ghastly Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
Gandhi spoke about the contribution of the people of Uttarakhand towards the country's security by serving in the armed forces and paramilitary forces.
"He (BC Khanduri) gave all his life to Army. But when he asked a question on national security in Parliament and spoke the truth that the government is not helping the Army the way it should, he was removed from the Chairmanship of that (Parliamentary Standing) Committee (on Defence)," Gandhi said.
B C Khanduri, a BJP member of the Lok Sabha who served as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand twice from 2007 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2012, was removed from the post of Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in September last year.
Attacking Modi, Gandhi accused him of not giving the Pulwama terror attack its due importance.
Remembering the CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack, Gandhi said, "I will meet the families of the (deceased) men in the state. Congress has made it clear that it stands with the government and the nation after the attack."
Mocking businessman Anil Ambani over the Rafale fighter jet deal issue, the Congress chief said, "If you give him (Anil Ambani) a paper, he will not be able to make even a paper plane. It is the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) which makes fighter jets and the MiG (aircraft), which shot the Pakistan jet, is maintained by the HAL."
He said, "The UPA government had given a contract to HAL for making the fighter jets, making its terms clear about manufacturing in India. This was the biggest defence contract of the world. (But) when Modi became the Prime Minister, Anil Ambani was part of his delegation to France, and within days, HAL was sidelined."
The Congress chief added that Modi was unable to speak in Parliament when he asked him about the Rafale deal and had "no guts" to make eye contact with him because "chowkidar chor hai" (the guard is the thief).
Gandhi was campaigning for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled to start from April 11. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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