Talk to any BJP leader. They all dismiss Rahul Gandhi with their own set of adjectives for the Congress leader. That, however, does not reflect in how the party responds to Rahul Gandhi. For every charge that Rahul Gandhi levels at the BJP, the party uses so much force in its denial that it keeps him relevant in politics even though he led the Congress to two of its worst electoral performances.
During the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, the Congress top leadership of party chief Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul Gandhi have looked active in shooting letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi listing demands and suggestions, and questioning the government over several issues.
On April 28, Rahul Gandhi posted a tweet sharing an old video in which he asked the government to tell him the names of top 50 loan defaulters of the country. He said the finance minister refused to answer. Quoting RBI, Rahul Gandhi named absconding businessmen Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and called them the “friends” of the BJP and “bank chor” (literally, bank thieves).
RBI , ‘’
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 28, 2020
Twenty minutes later, RTI activist Saket Gokhale posted a reply that he received from the RBI in response to his petition about the names of the top bank loan defaulters. Gokhale in his tweet said, “This is why Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tried to escape from a straight and clear question asked by Rahul Gandhi.”
This is why Finance Minister @nsitharaman tried to escape from a straight & clear question asked by Rahul Gandhi.
Sadly – the truth can never stay hidden too long.
Massive kudos to RG for calling the govt’s bluff way back in March!
PS: Here’s the list if anyone missed it https://t.co/OA4moYdTYz pic.twitter.com/JsaoBewhBT
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) April 28, 2020
The coordinated attack clearly unnerved the Modi government. Replies started flying with ministers dismissing the charge with disdain. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman posted 13 tweets to rebut Rahul Gandhi’s charge.
She said Rahul Gandhi tried to mislead people on willful defaulters, bad loans and write-offs. “Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, Scheduled Commercial Banks had written off Rs 1,45,226 crore. Wished Rahul Gandhi consulted Dr Manmohan Singh on what this writing-off was about,” Sitharaman posted on Twitter.
“A large number of bad loans originated in the period 2006-2008…Too many loans were made to well-connected promoters who have a history of…