Narendra Modi on Saturday hit out at Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the claims made in a book by the Prime Minister’s former aide, saying the mother and son would have to pay the “price” for running the UPA government from behind the scene.
“The book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ by Sanjaya Baru has brought to fore what we (BJP) have been saying for so long – that mother and son were the primary decision makers and Manmohan Singh was just a facade,” he told a poll rally at Kakoijan in Baongaigaon district. “It is clear (in the book) who was the actual prime minister. What Manmohan Singh says does not matter. Both mother and son have to pay a price for this,” he said.
Continuing his tirade against the Congress, the BJP prime minister hopeful said “…Today, I cam across a very entertaining piece of news. The PMO has said that the Prime Minister had delivered over 1100 speeches during the ten years of his rule. This is just to prove that he is not ‘Maun (silent) Mohan Singh’. The statement was made by the prime minister’s Communications Adviser Pankaj Pachauri on Friday to counter the damaging claims made by Baru, the former media adviser to Singh.
Modi said it would have been more appropriate if the PMO had issued a statement on what the Prime Minister had done for the poor and the common man, he said. “Have the PMO’s office ever announced what they have done for the Koch Rajbongshis or the tribals and adivasis of Assam? No they have not because they do not give you any importance or are concerned about you. They only remember you when elections come. Now it is your turn to forget them,” he told the gathering.
He hit out at the Congress top leadership, saying it has become a “habit” with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to “spread lies” across the country. Rahul, he charged, was spreading lies by saying that small-scale industries are closing down in Gujarat. Virtually throwing a challenge at the Congress vice-president, he said “Today both of us are in Assam, so lets face each other. Forget about Gujarat. What has your three-time Congress chief minister done to reopen the closed Ashok Paper Mills in the state? Has he taken any steps to provide employment opportunities for the youth?”
“The Congress has been cheating you. When they need your votes, the mother and the son comes to the fore but stay behind the curtains when running the government,” he charged. Hitting out the UPA government at the Centre and the 13-year-old Congress government in the state, Modi said the first has been ruined by “ma-beta ke sarkar” and Assam by “baap-beta ka sarkar”. “If you want to save the country, you have to first save yourself from the mother-son duo and if you want to save Assam, you have to save it from the father-son duo of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his son Gaurav,” he told the rally held in support of BJP’s Barpeta candidate Chandra Mohan Patowary.
Modi said the Congress leadership had failed the tribals though it had ruled the country for nearly 60 years. “It was the NDA government of Atal Bhari Vajpayee which set up a separate ministry for tribal development with a separate budget while the North East along with Sikkim, which we consider our ‘Asthalakshmi’ (eight Hindu goddesses) got a separate Ministry called the DONER,” he claimed. Charging the Congress with indulging in ‘vote-bank politics’, he said it was due to it that Bangladeshis are given importance in Assam while Hindu Bengalis, who had to flee that country following atrocities are ‘neglected’.
“Why are Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh not given the right to be Indians? Why are they still D(doubtful) voters in the country and are forced to stay in camps. Is this not injustice?” Referring to BJP’s stand on the issue, Modi said, “We do not hide our policies. We do not believe in vote-bank politics where our own are tortured and foreigners are welcomed with open arms. They (Hindu Bengali immigrants) must be given their due respect so that they can be proud Indians.”
He criticised Gogoi for allegedly failing to provide basic amenities to the people and employment opportunities to the youth. In Assam, he said, 55 per cent women are illiterate, 98 per cent houses do not have taps or water in them despite the fact that the state has overflowing rivers and gets high rainfall, 75 per cent houses do not have electricity and many women do not have proper toilet facilities. “Instead of chanting Kamakhya Devi’s name, the Assam Chief Minister begins and ends his day chanting my name. In a way, I am happy. However, I would have been happier if he had thought more about Assam.” He said Congress was not concerned about the welfare of the people of Assam and it was time for them to snap ties with it.