Allegations and counter-allegations flew thick and fast on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three rallies in poll-bound Karnataka. While PM Modi lashed out at Rahul Gandhi, asking him to speak on the achievements of his Karnataka government for 15 minutes, Congress accused the former of lying and not having answers on issues of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and Rafale.
Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said Modi's remarks today (May 1) proved that he had no answers to the issues raised by her party and demanded that he speak with integrity for even 15 seconds without lying or misrepresenting facts.
"Today, it has been proved beyond doubt that the prime minister has no answer on Nirav Modi, or on Jay Shah. He has no answers on Rafale or on Piyush Goyal's corruption which is there beyond doubt in the public domain," she told reporters.
The Mahila Congress chief said she wanted to tell him that their fight was not against individual Narendra Modi but Gandhi's challenge to speak for 15 minutes must address the issues related to Nirav Modi and Rafale.
"It must address Jay Shah and Piyush Goyal. But today his statement in Karnataka has proved beyond doubt that he has absolutely no answer whatsoever to these issues," she claimed.
On the prime minister's remark that Gandhi should speak without a script, Dev said, "Do you have the integrity to speak, let alone 15 minutes, can you speak for even 15 seconds without lies and misrepresentation?"
On the issue of 'kaamdaar' and 'naamdaar' that Modi had referred to, Dev said, "The people of the country are not thinking about who is 'kaamdaar' or 'naamdaar'. Today, the only word that exists in the people's heart is 'imaandaar' (honest).
"Whether you are honest, Mr Piyush Goyal and the prime minister should answer that in 15 minutes, and if possible in 15 seconds," she told reporters.
Earlier in the day in Karnataka, Modi had unleashed an all out attack on Gandhi and dared him "to speak in any language" for 15 minutes about the achievements of Karnataka's Siddaramaiah government without referring to a piece of paper.
"I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government... people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion," he told a poll rally at Santemaranahalli in Chamaraja district.
The prime minister was responding to Gandhi's dare to him to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption. The Congress chief claimed that Modi would not be able to sit for 15 minutes.
"His speaking for 15 minutes will itself is a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think...wow, what a scene it is? Congress president, sir, we cannot sit before you. You are 'naamdar' (famous), while I am 'kaamdar' (ordinary worker). We have no status to sit in front of you," Modi said.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs