Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stepped up his attack on Congress on Monday. In a veiled criticism of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, he said it was a shame that people still visit homes of the poor for photo-ops. Congress retaliated by describing Modi’s remarks as a manifestation of the Opposition’s frustration and apprehension over Gandhi’s popularity among youths.
Modi, who had on Sunday hit out at Congress for employing ‘double-standards’ in its fight against corruption, held the party responsible for poverty in the country, despite its over 50 years of rule. “In this country, even today, there exist people, who feel happy to have a photoop with the poor. They feel proud to get their pictures clicked with children of poor in their hands,” Modi said in his I- Day speech. “… even after over 50 years of their rule in the country, so many people are living below poverty line. These are monuments of your rule. This is your shame.
They are even ready to capitalise on this.” He also attacked the Centre for ‘using’ constitutional bodies to ‘insult’ Gujarat, and challenged the ‘anti-Gujarat forces’ to try and stop development of the state. “We understand Modi’s and BJP’s trepidation when a youth icon of Congress gets support like this. I understand their frustration when they find there is nobody to give leadership to the youths in BJP and the masses, like we have Rahul in Congress,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told newspersons in response.
“It is Modi who devalued the Election Commission. Police officers in Gujarat who spoke against him are being browbeaten … They should set their house in order first,” Singhvi said. Union Minister Ambika Soni said she did not want to comment on Modi’s “extra curricular activities” . ET