While Rahul Gandhi always employs crass language and factually incorrect statements to attack his political opponents, PM Modi on the other hand, in a very civilized language with facts and figures, targets his bête noire. In his pursuit to turn the tables on the Congress party regarding the Rafale controversy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi played the “Michel Mama” card.
PM Modi while addressing a huge public rally in Maharashtra’s Solapur spoke about AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel who is currently being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). PM Modi said, “One of the middlemen who was being hunted for the helicopter deal scam was recently brought into the country. According to media reports, he had revealed that he was not only involved in the helicopter deal, but was also playing the role of the middleman in the fighter plane deal. Michel mama was lobbying for fighter planes of some other company during the previous government’s rule, the reports added. The question that Congress leaders creating noise now must answer was what connection they had with this Michel mama.” He further added, “Shouldn’t they given an answer? Shouldn’t the chowkidar ask them about it.” His comments have come after recent media reports claimed that Christian Michel had lobbied for Rafale’s competitor Eurofighter.
For more details: Besides AgustaWestland, Christian Michel influenced other defense deals too: ED
For more details: Christian Michel’s revelation sheds light on why the Congress is opposing Rafale deal
PM Modi asserted, “All the friends of these commission-takers are dreaming of scaring the chowkidar. But they are going to be disappointed, because this chowkidar doesn’t sleep or feel scared. Those people can rain abuses at me, lie, but this safai (clean-up) mission will continue.”
He asked the crowd in Solapur, “Do you support the chowkidaar?” “Was the deal stopped then because of Michel mama’s ‘saudebaazi’ (deals).”
PM Modi repeatedly used the word chowkidaar in his speech, a term which Rahul Gandhi often uses to attack him. In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was Mani Shankar Aiyar who while dismissing the possibility of BJP winning the elections mocked PM Modi’s background as a tea seller. PM Modi made tea seller as his identity and used it in every rally. PM Modi went on to become a symbol of triumph of common man working against the elitist snobs. PM Modi seems to be doing exactly the same with the Chowkidaar remark.
One more important thing to note here is that after Shehzada jibe, this time PM Modi has coined the term ‘Michel Mama’ to attack Rahul Gandhi. Shehzada jibe resonated well with the masses and depicted the elite background and mindset of Rahul Gandhi. The Michel Mama jibe is as also closer to the truth as was the Shehzada jibe. In the days to come, PM Modi is likely to use Michel Mama jibe more often in order to target the Congress government on the AgustaWestland deal case.
While Congress desperately always tries to target the NDA government with made-up scams, fiascos of its own scam ridden past keep popping up. One such fiasco, the AgustaWestland scam, dates back to 2010 when a tender was assigned to AgustaWestland and 12 AW101 helicopters were to be acquired by the government of India at a cost of Rs. 3,546 crores. Out of these 12 choppers, 8 had to be allotted to the VIPs-the Prime Minister, President of India and other ministers. Christian Michel is one of the key accused in the AgustaWestland scam. He is accused of handling and routing over 60 million euros for kickbacks in the AgustaWestland helicopters deal. According to a report by Times of India, AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel had access to information which even the then Defense Minister under UPA government, AK Antony was not aware of. CBI claimed this after it accessed fax message allegedly sent by Christian Michel to the then senior vice-president of AgustaWestland firm in January 2010.
For more details: Michel’s revelations keeps Congress’ top brass on toes