Washing machine on dais, Congress taunts BJP over 'clean chit' to leaders joining saffron party

07:19 PM Mar 30, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday employed symbolism during a press conference by displaying a washing machine on its dais, mocking the BJP over the closure report filed by the CBI in a 2017 corruption case against NCP leader Praful Patel. The party suggested that the BJP’s approach resembled a “fully automatic washing machine” that operates on the principle of “join BJP, case closed”.


The Congress highlighted what it termed the trend of leaders facing corruption charges aligning with the BJP, only to witness the closure of cases against them, an accusation frequently levelled by opposition parties. It issued a stern warning, stating its intention to pursue action against every agency official involved in undermining democracy and the Constitution.

The press conference, led by Congress’ media and publicity department head Pawan Khera at the AICC headquarters, was marked by symbolic gestures. A “BJP washing machine” was placed on the table, alongside a demonstration involving a “dirty T-shirt” representing corruption, which emerged clean with “BJP Modi wash” after going through the machine.

Khera alleged that the “BJP machine” cost over Rs 8,500 crore, the amount the ruling party received through electoral bonds. He claimed it effectively cleaned corruption stains when paired with “Modi washing powder”.

Accompanying the press conference was a leaflet on “Modi washing powder” distributed to attendees, featuring the Prime Minister’s image and the tagline “saare daag chutkiyon mein dhule” (all stains will be washed away in a jiffy).


Khera highlighted the case of Praful Patel, who, after joining the BJP alliance in Maharashtra, saw the CBI filing a closure report in a 2017 corruption case listed in the BJP’s 2014 “charge sheet” against the UPA government, termed the “Air India scam”.

The CBI had accused Patel of misusing his position as Union civil aviation minister to benefit private players by leasing several aircraft to Air India in 2006, Khera noted. He also addressed the BJP’s allegations against Patel involving a property deal with 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts accused Iqbal Mirchi, stating that those claims were now absent from the discourse.

Khera pointed out the BJP’s silence on corruption allegations against leaders such as Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Narayan Rane, Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, and Ashok Chavan, who faced accusations before joining the BJP.

He questioned the authenticity of the BJP’s 2014 charge sheet against Patel and others, asking whether it was merely for mudslinging or to coerce opponents into supporting the BJP.

Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s recent remarks about a “committed judiciary”, Khera challenged the BJP to clarify whether they seek “committed institutions” such as a “caged parrot CBI” or an “extortion directorate ED”.

Khera concluded by ridiculing Prime Minister Modi’s 2014 election slogan “Na khaunga, na khane doonga” (Neither will I indulge in corruption, nor will I let others), stating that joining the BJP seems to result in the swift closure of cases. He reiterated the Congress’ stance that the BJP’s allegations of corruption were baseless, pledging to hold accountable every agency official complicit in undermining democracy and the Constitution.


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