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In Rahul Gandhi’s Attack On PM Modi, Sheila Dikshit Is Collateral Damage

In Rahul Gandhi’s Attack On PM Modi, Sheila Dikshit Is Collateral Damage

NEW DELHI: As Rahul Gandhi pressed home with his allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit was forced to go back on her earlier comments on what is being called the “Sahara Diaries”. Ms Dikshit too targeted PM Modi in tweets, signalling her submission to her party’s line. There was though a hint of protest. Ms Dikshit, named as the Congress’ presumptive Chief Minister for Uttar Pradesh, was absent at a campaign meeting in the state’s Aligarh. “Why is PM Modi shying from an independent and a thorough probe into the #BirlaSaharaPapers?” Sheila Dikshit tweeted on Tuesday morning, days after she had rubbished the same documents as hearsay. The documents – reportedly seized during tax raids in 2013 – were flagged by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi last week as evidence of the Prime Minister’s corruption. He alleged that some entries proved PM Modi had taken bribes from the Sahara group as Chief Minister of Gujarat, a charge trashed by the BJP as the “joke of the year”. Even though the BJP pointed out that the Supreme Court had found no merit in the documents, the Congress tweeted the list. It happened to include Ms Dikshit, a three-time Delhi Chief Minister. Ms Dikshit was quoted as saying she was “surprised” when the Congress tweeted the list. “There is no iota of truth in the allegations. I totally reject these allegations,” she said, which weakened Mr Gandhi’s offensive against PM Modi. Since then, she has tweeted twice targeting the PM.
“At least Sheilaji said hold an inquiry, why hasn’t the Prime Minister done that?” he said at an opposition leaders’ press meet. “The prime minister is extremely disturbed by these attacks and remarks that I have made… The fact is these diaries and tapes are true and correct,” he added, contradicting Ms Dikshit even more. Ms Dikshit denied speculation that she was distancing herself from the party’s campaign over the controversy. The 78-year-old said she was never meant to attend the Aligarh meeting. “Speculation about me in the media in connection with UP is amusing. I was not meant to go to Aligarh. Going to Barabanki tomorrow,” she posted in Hindi. Posters at the site of the rally in Aligarh, however, starred Ms Dikshit prominently and announced that she would be present.

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