ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Indian opposition leader Modi mocks Congress vice president ‘sermon’
Publication Date : 23-12-2013
Addressing a mammoth show of strength organised by his party's Mumbai and Maharashtra units, the opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime minister-aspirant, Narendra Modi, lashed out at the Congress’ temerity to speak on fighting corruption on the very day the party’s government in Maharashtra resolved to bury the damning Adarsh commission report indicting its three chief ministers and other bigwigs.
In a direct barb aimed at the Congress vice-president - while not naming Rahul Gandhi - Modi said that no one could surpass the Congress in double-speak.
The senior Congress leader spoke of tackling the all pervasive corruption head-on but wilfully ignored mentioning the Adarsh scandal in Maharashtra.
“What audacity,” the Gujarat chief minister said, and added only the Congress is capable of such hypocrisy. Modi blamed the Congress for all-pervasive corruption. “The Congress itself is the biggest problem. The Mahatma gave Quit India call to alien rulers in Mumbai. I now exhort this city’s people to start a movement for a Congress-free India,” he said.
He complimented the Congress leader for finesse in “double-speak”.
Modi, who started his campaign on a “yes we can” note today, asked people not to vote for any party but “vote for India”. He added that unlike any other party and the Congress in particular, his party stands for a strong and vibrant India. He criticised the Congress on the issue of black money salted away in Swiss bank vaults.
Modi said the BJP leaders have given in writing that they do not hold accounts in Swiss banks and questioned the honesty of Congress leaders who refuse to do so. He said if voted to power, the BJP would bring the country’s wealth back in three years.
The huge Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority's ground at Bandra-Kurla Complex was packed to capacity. To make the show a grand success, the state and Mumbai BJP spared no effort and money. Twenty special trains were booked on Central and Western Railways to bring party supporters from the rest of the state and next-door Gujarat. Organisers said they were ready to provide food and water to a million people.
Modi acknowledged the Mumbai and Maharashtra BJP for a spectacular show of strength, the “likes of which might have been rarely seen by any political leader anywhere in the country”.
The Gujarat chief minister said Mumbai is a second home for Gujaratis. But for the Congress rule, Maharashtra is a great state with enormous potential which has never been tapped. He said a visit to the boundary separating the states brings out a stark reality. The villages on the Maharashtra side are still in the dark for want of power while a few feet away, Gujarat villages “emit brightness for anyone to see”.
He also raked up the issue of installing sluice gates along Sardar Sarovar Dam. It would lead to a significant rise in electricity generation, he said. Maharashtra can receive Rs 400 crore (US$64,485) worth of power free if the dam’s reservoir is fitted with sluice gates. Modi lamented that his efforts to convince Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the last four years in this regard have failed miserably.