Lucknow, Feb 11 (PTI) Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he used to boast about his "56-inch chest", but the "hollowness" of his claims is now coming out in the open.
Addressing Congress workers after a roadshow in Lucknow, where he was accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in her first public event after entering active politics, Gandhi claimed Modi's body language has also changed now and the entire country has got to know about his "hollowness".
"When Narendra Modiji came, he had said he has 56-inch chest, he wants to be a chowkidar (watchman) and he wants to be prime minister of the country. But now, one after another truth is coming out," Gandhi said, citing recent media reports on the alleged "parallel negotiations" done by the Prime Minister's Office in the Rafale deal and the alleged dilution of anti-corruption clause in the jet purchase agreement.
"The hollowness that was inside him has now come out before the entire nation. The entire nation and its youth and farmers now know that 'chowkidar chor hai'..." Gandhi said, while repeating his allegations about corruption and crony capitalism in the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.
The government and the BJP have repeated rejected these allegations.
Speaking at Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said. "Chowkidar chor nahi, chowkidar pure hai. Next PM sure hai, problem ke liye cure hai ("The watchman is not a thief, he is a pure man. He is sure to be the next PM and is a cure for problems."
Speaking in Parliament in the national capital, another Congress leader Veerappa Moily also referred to Modi's famous comments about his his "56-inch chest" to attack the government.
"When bullet of corruption is hit, his broad shoulders cannot bear it," Moily said.
In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was in Uttar Pradesh that Modi as a three-term Gujarat Chief Minister at that time had famously said that it take a "56-inch chest" to convert UP into Gujarat in terms of development. PTI SAB SMI KR ASK BJ