Mumbai:

Congress’s Rahul Gandhi concluded the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra in Mumbai today with some barbs at foes and former friends. While the heavy artillery was reserved for the BJP, a senior leader, thought to be Ashok Chavan, who recently crossed over to the BJP, got some special attention.

Without naming the former Maharashtra Chief Minister and MP, Mr Gandhi hinted that he had crossed over to evade the Central investigation agencies.

“We are fighting with a power. Now the question is, what is that power. The soul of a king lies in the EVMs, ED (Enforcement Directorate), CBI, Income tax,” Mr Gandhi said, addressing a mammoth crowd in Mumbai.

“I don’t want to name names, but a senior leader from this state, left the Congress. Weeping, he told my mother, ‘Sonia-ji, I’m ashamed to say, I do not have the power to fight this people, this force. I do not want to go to jail’,” he added.

The Congress has levelled the “washing machine” allegation against the BJP again after Mr Chavan switched sides last month, shortly after another key leader, Milind Deora.

State Congress chief Nana Patole, with whom he had serious differences, said the reason was mention of the Adarsh scam in a White Paper presented in parliament.

Mr Chavan has three cases pending against him, two of which are linked to the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.

Mr Chavan was the revenue minister of the state in 2000, when land in Colaba was allegedly allotted illegally for the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.

The veteran leader has ascribed various differences with the Congres as his reason for leaving the party.


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