Congress mocks Modi’s ‘paid’ rally,says Rs 5 his ‘true value’

BJP hits back: ‘Probably no one would even spend 1 paisa to listen to them (Congress) in rallies’

Written by Press Trust Of India | Hyderabad/new Delhi | Published: July 17, 2013 3:55 am

The Rs 5 “registration” fee for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting scheduled in Hyderabad for August 11 sparked a fresh war of words between BJP and Congress,which said the saffron party was “monetizing democracy” by collecting a “listening tax”.

The BJP on its part said Congress is “rattled” by Modi and is not able to digest the “growing popularity” of the party’s election campaign chief.

BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit president G Kishan Reddy said the Rs 5 contribution for attending the public meeting on August 11 is purely “voluntary” and that all were welcome. No tickets have been printed,he said,adding the money collected would be contributed to Uttarakhand relief funds.

Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari sarcastically said the Rs 5 fee showed the “true value” of Modi.

“Baba Pravachan Ticket Rs 100-100,000. Cinema ticket Rs. 200-500 even for box office flop. Ticket to hear a CM Rs 5. Market discovers true value,” Tewari said in New Delhi.

Sharpening his attack on the BJP strongman,Tewari also said,“BJP’s listening Tax Rs 5 maybe market discovery price. What would be speaking Tax imposed on 1.2 billion? Monetising democracy/pure fascism!”

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram also took a dig at the BJP,saying there would be no charge on his party’s rallies of Sonia Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi or the Prime Minister.

“I would not react on what is the popularity measure of any other leader (Narendra Modi),but I assure you whenever Congress does a rally whether by party President Sonia Gandhi,party Vice President Rahul Gandhi,or the Prime Minister,we will not charge Rs 5,” he said in Jaipur.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu hit back at Congress saying it was rattled by Modi.

“Congress is rattled by Narendra Modi. They are not able to digest the growing popularity of Narendra Modi. That’s why they are making such allegations. They are trying to hit below the belt,” Naidu told reporters in Hyderabad.

Hours after Tewari’s taunt,BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Probably no one would even spend 1 paisa to listen to them (Congress) in rallies.”

Another BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: “I can understand Manish Tewari’s heartburn as people are eager to listen to BJP leaders by paying fees and not listen to Congress leaders even if they are ready to pay the audience.”

JD-U) leader Ali Anwar,meanwhile,said the BJP wanted to show Modi was a superstar and people were even buying Rs 5 ticket to attend rallies.

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