Rahul a small aquarium fish: Modi

The war of words between the Congress and main opposition BJP over experience versus youth heated up further on Sunday when Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.....

Written by Press Trust Of India | Panaji/new Delhi | Published: February 23, 2009 11:08 pm

The war of words between the Congress and main opposition BJP over experience versus youth heated up further on Sunday when Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in a veiled reference to Rahul Gandhi compared him to a “small aquarium fish” unlike leaders in the saffron party who were like “ocean fish” who could weather big storms. The Congress quickly reacted to Modi’s remarks,comparing him to a piranha. “If Rahul is like a fish in the aquarium,Modi is a piranha who devoured human beings,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said in Delhi.

The remarks of Modi poking fun at Rahul while addressing a rally at Margao,40 km from Panaji,came on a day when the 38-year-old AICC general secretary began his two-day Gujarat tour,his third to the state in the past 20 days.

Modi said youths in the Congress were incapable of taking on challenges while the BJP’s youth wing could handle any hostile weather.

“We are not small fish floating in the comfort of aquariums but we weather huge storms to win,” Modi said in an apparent reference to the Amethi MP,who is being projected as a youth icon for the coming elections.

In another veiled attack at Rahul,Modi said,“We are not flowers cultivated by gardeners of the rich,we have grown up in the forests of our own.”

Modi said the “prince” was not able to salvage any pride in Gujarat panchayat elections,despite camping in the state. “In fact,the Congress lost its base in Gujarat during panchayat elections. Rahul could not do anything,” he said.

About Rahul as Congress’s future PM candidate,Modi said youths in the Congress were in politics by the virtue of their fathers. “In the BJP,we have youths who are determined to work for the nation.”

“Some people call themselves ‘young’. I ask who are these self-proclaimed youngsters? Can one be called young if he belongs to a rich family? Isn’t a youth from a poor family young as well? Wasn’t former Goa CM Manohar Parikkar young? Their only fault was that their fathers were not the PMs or CMs of the country,” Modi said.

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