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Modi ministers launch counteroffensive against Rahul

New Delhi: Stung by Rahul Gandhi’s sensational charge of having information about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “personal corruption”, top ministers in the government today dismissed the allegation as “false and baseless”, insisting there cannot be a bigger “lie” than it.

Senior Ministers including Manohar Parrikar, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar went ballistic at the Congress Vice President, calling the charge a result of his “desperation and frustration” and demanding an apology.

“Rahul Gandhi tells lies. He speaks baseless. Come to Parliament, discuss and also listen to our reply. He is the same person who kept quiet during the 10 years when the country, under Manmohan Singh government, was being looted,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Earlier, addressing a press conference after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Gandhi alleged that he had information about “personal corruption” involving the Prime Minister and that he was not being allowed to speak in the House because of it.

Prasad said Gandhi has become “restless” because of the steps taken by the government against black money and corruption, adding “because of restlessness he is speaking such things.”

Ridiculing Gandhi for making unsubstantiated charges, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kumar said the Congress Vice President has been “exposed”, adding the charges were made out of “desperation” and “frustration”.

“Had he (Gandhi) got any information, he would have said it by now. It is a baseless allegation. He is saying this out of frustration. Today they are saying they are not being allowed to speak. It is wrong because every day Congress members are coming to the well of the House. Now they are trying to spread rumour and baseless allegations,” Kumar said.

Rejecting Gandhi’s claim that he is not being allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Parrikar said the question as to who has stalled Parliament should be put to him.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Javadekar said only Congress and not the government will be exposed when Gandhi speeks even as he dismissed the charge that the government was not letting the Congress leader speak in Parliament.

There cannot be a bigger “lie” than this, the Union Environment Minister said.

–PTI