Congress on Monday resurrected the “maut ka saudagar” barb against Narendra Modi, blaming him for the Godhra incident and the subsequent communal riots in Gujarat, and said the description fitted the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
BJP had lost three bye-elections after Modi became Chief Minister but after that he “allowed” the Godhra train tragedy and the riots. “If you don’t call him maut ka saudagar (merchant of death), how else can you describe him,” party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters.
His remarks came in a response to a question on whether Congress still thinks that Modi is ‘maut ka saudagar’.
The comments of Gohil, a former CLP leader of Gujarat and known detractor of Modi, is bound to kick up a row as Sonia Gandhi’s same barb during the campaign in Gujarat assembly elections in 2007 had sparked a huge political controversy.
After the crushing defeat of the party, Congress had refrained from making such remarks fearing a communal polarisation as Modi had used it to the hilt to his advantage.
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The Congress spokesperson’s comments came even as Rahul Gandhi has in last many interactions with party leaders asked them to refrain from personal attacks.
However, it is also true that Congress has stepped up attack on Modi in the last few days as campaigning for Lok Sabha election picks up.