Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday caused a stir on Wednesday by naming India’s two top Industrialists in an election rally and accusing the Congress of having a “deal” with “Ambani and Adani”

Addressing a public meeting in Vemulawada in Telangana, Modi stunned everybody when he alleged that the Congress was keeping mum on Ambani and Adani because the party had taken “tempo-loads of black money” from the two industrialists.

“I am asking him (Rahul Gandhi) to declare how much money they have taken from them. After his tirade against Rafale failed, he started chanting ‘five industrialists, five industrialists, five industrialists’. Later, he started chanting ‘Ambani-Adani’. But after the election schedule was announced, he suddenly stopped abusing Ambani and Adani overnight,” said Modi. “Was there a deal? Why did you stop abusing Ambani and Adani overnight,” he asked. “There is something suspicious (daal mai kuch kaalaa hai),” he said.

In a clear reference to the two industrialists, the PM alleged that “chori ka maal (ill-gotten money)” has been given to the Congress to stop Rahul Gandhi from targeting them.

“I want to ask from Telangana soil, let the Shehzada announce, how much has been lifted from Ambani-Adani. Has tempo loads of money reached the Congress? What deal has been arrived at, that abusing Ambani-Adani has stopped overnight?” the PM said. “It means you have received some tempo loads of ‘chori ka maal‘ (loot)...Kaale dhan ki kitni boriya bharkar ke rupaye maare hai (how many sacks of black money you have taken) You have to answer the nation,” he said.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi instantly rebutted Modi’s allegations saying Rahul Gandhi had been criticising Ambani and Adani every day. She was speaking at Rae Bareli. Rahul Gandhi also responded with a sarcastic tweet. “The country knows who is the driver and helper of BJP’s tempo of corruption,” he said.

The Congress has been accusing the Prime Minister of favouring the top five industrialists in the country, including Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani.

In a sharp response, Rahul Gandhi asked whether Modi was speaking from his “personal experience” when he mentioned “money in a tempo” being sent by Ambani and Adani. “Modi ji, are you a little scared? Normally you talk about Adani and Ambani in closed doors, but for the first time you have talked about Adani and Ambani in public,” Gandhi said in a 46-second video message, posted on X by the Congress.

“Do one thing – send the CBI, ED to them and carry out a thorough investigation and don’t be scared,” Gandhi said.

Adani stocks drop

Most Adani group stocks slipped marginally between 10.15 and 10.17 am when Modi made the startling statement. For instance, Adani Enterprises slipped from ₹2,886.90 to ₹2,855.50. However, the stock recovered after that to hit a high of ₹2,880 before closing at ₹2,860.17, up 0.87 per cent over previous day’s close.

Pitroda’s gaffe

Modi also used his two Telangana rallies to take a dig at Rahul’s mentor Sam Pitroda’s remarks that South Indians look like Africans. “The prince’s philosopher looks down on people with dark complexion. How can one judge people’s abilities based on their skin colour,” he said in his speech in Warangal.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a roadshow for Lok Sabha elections, in Rae Bareli, Wednesday

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a roadshow for Lok Sabha elections, in Rae Bareli, Wednesday | Photo Credit: -