New Delhi, July 29 : With Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that he was "not afraid of" publicly standing beside industrialists because his intentions were "noble", the Congress hit out at him, saying he should not lend his legitimacy and respectability to such corporates.
"If the Prime Minister feels alright to be photographed with such people, who allegedly ripped off the banking system, and run away to Antigua and London or probably disappear from the earth, then I leave it to the Prime Minister's wisdom to lend his legitimacy and respectability to such people," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a press conference.
"The question is not the capitalists or industrialists. The question is what kind of capitalists or industrialists," he said, while stressing his party was not against industrialists and capitalists, but against "crony capitalists".
"The Congress feels that private enterprise has a legitimate place in the developmental trajectory of the country. But what we are against is crony capitalism and the nexus between the suit and the boot. 'The Suit Boot ki Sarkar', when the government functions for the benefit of a few at the cost of many," he said.
Tewari also hit out at Modi for comparing himself with Mahatma Gandhi, saying: "What is even more astonishing is that the Prime Minister went and compared himself to Mahatma Gandhi.
"its unfortunate because no politician should compare himself to the father of the nation. He said that even Mahatma Gandhi used to carry industrialists with him. Again the question is what kind of industrialists. They were those people who in the teeth of British tyranny, British imperialism, in the teeth of persecution were ready to stake in sacrifice everything they had for the freedom of India."
These industrialists stood with Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress because their goal was the freedom of India, and were "not those industrialists who had gamed the banking system and runaway with thousands of crores of public money," he said.
Slammed Modi over development issues, Tewari said that "the Prime Minister patted himself on the back saying that the country is developing splendidly", but this is not borne out by facts.
"The facts are that farmers are forced to sell their crop below the minimum support price. The fact is that small and medium industry is closing down rapidly across the country."
On Modi's visit to Uttar Pradesh, Tewari said when any Prime Minister visits a state seven times, six or nine months before the Lok Sabha elections, it is possibly the most "potent barometer of the nervousness" of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Prime Minister of India.
"This is perhaps the seventh trip that the Prime Minister is making to Uttar Pradesh in less than a month."
He also criticised BJP President Amit Shah's interview to a newspaper where he mentioned the Rs 12 crore Mudra loans for youth, saying the question was "how many sustainable livelihoods have those loans created".
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala meanwhile tweeted: "Dear PM, your political career reeks of a culture of cronyism! From giving land to your crony friends at throwaway prices in Guj to GSCPC scam, from promoting select mobile wallets in DeMo to gifting largest defence contracts in Rafale! So spare us the lecture!"
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Mumbai, Sep 20: Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut appeared before a Mumbai court on Monday in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar, and said she had "lost faith" in the magistrate's court as it indirectly "threatened" her of issuing a warrant if she failed to appear before it in a bailable offence.
Ranaut also moved a counter complaint in the court against Akhtar for alleged "extortion and criminal intimidation", and her lawyer informed the court that they had filed an application before chief metropolitan magistrate, seeking transfer of hearing into the complaint to another court.
The court had last week said it will issue a warrant against Ranaut if she fails to appear on the next date of hearing on September 20.
Ranaut appeared before Andheri metropolitan magistrate R R Khan on Monday for the first time since summons was issued to her in February this year, and completed the bail formalities.
As the matter came up for hearing, her lawyer Rizwan Siddique told that court that Ranaut does not want to proceed with this court (in connection with the complaint).
Siddique said they have "lost faith in the court as it seems to be biased".
The court has indirectly "threatened" her of issuing a warrant on two occasions in a non-cognisable, compoundable and bailable offence, where as per law regular presence is not required, the lawyer claimed.
Ranaut has been called before the court without any cause or reason, he said.
He further submitted that till today, there is no order as to why she is required to be present regularly for the bailable, non-cognisable and compoundable offence.
Akhtar's lawyer Jay Bharadwaj termed Ranaut's plea for transfer of complaint to another court as "extremely bizzare".
"They have neither given any notice nor a copy of the (transfer) application to us," he said.
The court will hear the matter next on November 15.
Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court dismissed a plea filed by Ranaut seeking quashing of proceedings initiated against her by the local court on the criminal defamation complaint filed by Akhtar.
Justice Revati Mohite-Dere had said in the order that there was no procedural illegality or irregularity in the metropolitan magistrate's order initiating the proceedings.
Akhtar (76) had filed the complaint in the court in November last year, claiming Ranaut had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation.
In his complaint, Akhtar claimed that Ranaut dragged his name during an interview while referring to a 'coterie' existing in Bollywood, following the alleged suicide committed by actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.