Rahul Gandhi was in Indore ahead of Madhya Pradesh assembly polls. (File)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleged on Monday that demonetisation in 2016 was carried out to "convert black money of a few rich people into white" and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a "magician" who performed this act.
Addressing a public meeting here in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, he also targeted Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, alleging that "rampant corruption" had taken place in the state during his rule.
He claimed that the name of the son of 'mamaji', a chief minister, had figured in the Panama Papers but no action was taken against him.
Though Mr Gandhi did not specifically identify the CM, he was possibly referring to Mr Chouhan because he is popularly known as 'mamaji'.
"Udhar Chowkidar, Idhar Mamaji. Mamaji ke jo bte hai, Panama Papers me unka naam nikalta hai. (On one side, you have the watchman (apparently referring to Modi), on the other side you have 'mamaji'. The name of the son of 'mamaji' figured in Panama Papers)," Gandhi said.
"Nawaz Sharif Pakistan ke Prime Minister ka naam nikalta hai..Pakistan jaise desh me unko jail me daal dete hai. Magar Yahan ke chief minister ka beta, uska naam Panama Papers me nikalta hai to koi karyawai nahi hoti (The name of former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif appears in Panama Papers. In a country like Pakistan, he is jailed. Here, the name of the son of a CM figures in Panama Papers but no action is taken)," Gandhi added.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya termed the allegations as "baseless".
"Probably, Rahul, after visiting Mahakal Temple in Ujjain and after having 'prasad', got influenced by it and levelled these baseless allegations, Vijaywargiya said.
State BJP spokesman Rajnish Agrawal, while laughing at the allegation, remarked, I have heard in social media that he is not in his senses while delivering speech. The speech at Jhabua proves that he is immature mentally and levels baseless allegations."
He added that, "as president of the Congress party, he (Gandhi) is committing a crime morally and legally. The party leadership will decide what action needed to be taken in the matter."
Mr Gandhi alleged that "rampant corruption took place in the state (MP) under the chief minister Chouhan including Vyapam, e-tendering and Mahakumbh mela."
Referring to demonetization, Mr Gandhi alleged, "The exercise was carried out to convert black money of a few rich people into white."
Alleging that Modi was the "magician" who coverted black money into white, the Congress chief said, "Kaisa jadugar hai. Kamaal ka jadugar hai. Ameeron ke liye jadu karta hai, (What a magician he (PM) is. Amazing magician. He does magic for rich people)."
He alleged that "Chowkidar ne chori karwa di (The watchman ensured theft)."
Addressing the gathering, Gandhi asked, "When demonetization was announced, did mothers sitting here stand in queues? Did you see any rich person standing in a queue those days. In the initial two-three days people had thought that it was a right exercise but after two three months they realized what happened actually."
The Congress president reiterated that if his party comes to power in Madhya Pradesh, the farmers' loan will be waived within 10 days and "not 11 days".
He also said that his party wishes to make an India which is equal for all sections of the society and "not two Hindustans, as is the present situation."
Criticizing BJP and RSS for having two flags, he said that Congress believes in one flag only that is of the nation for which large number of people including tribals like Birsa Munda among others sacrificed their lives.
Rahul also criticized the BJP-led government for changing the provisions of the land acquisition bill that was meant to award a compensation four times more than the market rate to those whose land is acquired.