The Congress on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim at the Facebook event that his mother used to wash utensils at neighbours’ homes to provide for the family. The party also said that Modi should “fulfil his duties as a son” instead of crying abroad.
“Prime Minister broke down yesterday. He was remembering his mother. It is good. But whatever he has said leaves a question mark on his credibility. He has said that they were poor and she used to work at others’ homes. He has insulted his mother. I have checked. His father was not poor… He did not belong to a wealthy household, but was not so poor that his mother had to work at others’ homes,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma.
“What does our culture say about the moral duties of a son whose mother has sacrificed so much? The Prime Minister should first fulfil his duties as a son. For 12 years, you were the chief minister of Gujarat. Even while living in Ahmedabad, you never kept your mother with you. You didn’t call her when you took oath as the Prime Minister. Instead of shedding tears abroad, you should fulfil your duties,” said Sharma.
“When you are talking about beti bachao, beti padao then all the women folk in the family also come under it. Mother, sister and wife also,” he said.
The Congress also dismissed Modi’s claim that he used to sell tea at the railway station. Sharma said Modi’s father used to run a canteen in Vadnagar, while his uncle ran a canteen in Ahmedabad. “He used to sit at the cash counter. That does not qualify as selling tea,” he said.
Reacting to Modi’s jibe on a “damaad” (son-in-law) making “Rs 1,000 crore”, the Congress asked Modi to “release the list” in India instead of maligning the country on foreign soil. Sharma said Modi’s attack on the Nehru-Gandhi family was in poor taste. “He is one leader who earlier, before he became the prime minister, and after that, has dragged the political narrative of India to gutter level,” he said.
“True to his characteristics, Prime Minister has engaged in theatrics, emotion, drama, making boastful claims. It is disturbing to see this great country being represented by a showman Prime Minister who is negating all the achievements that the people of India made since independence, the institutions that have been built, the major initiatives that have been undertaken by his predecessors which powered India to global leadership position in the field of IT, telecom,” he said.
“The question that arises is whether he has a healthy mindset or he needs counselling… to be told that India did not take birth, nor did India’s minds, institutions and great achievers, on May 16, 2014,” said Sharma.
“He has an I, me, myself mindset. This mindset is unhealthy and disturbing and is a matter of national concern because he is the Prime Minister of the country,” he said.
The Congress also sought an inquiry into Modi’s public meetings abroad. “Whose money is it? From where is it being organised? Who organises these meeting? He is misusing his official state visits and we demand an independent inquiry for the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent… thousands of people from this country, RSS people and other activists, have been sent months in advance to prepare (for the events),” he said.
“If you look at (Barack) Obama or (David) Cameron, you find them wearing the same suit during the day. But the Indian Prime Minister is unique. You find him in different attire. And then he talks about the poor. The heads of states of rich countries do not have the time or resources to indulge in such fashion show. Modi has the time,” said Sharma.