A combative Narendra Modi hit back at the Prime Minister on Sunday for his attack on BJP,saying the Congress committed the “sin” of partition and eulogised only the Nehru-Gandhi family while neglecting heroes of the freedom struggle.
Modi trained his guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had on Saturday said in Raipur that on many occasions,”over-excited BJP leaders change history and geography of the country”. Singh’s remarks appeared to be directed at BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
“Mr Prime Minister,I am aware that it is not in your hands what you should say or not say. But the country wants to know who changed the geography of India. The village in which you were born was a part of Hindustan. Today it is not. Who changed the geography. Who broke this country into pieces?” Modi said while inaugurating a multi-specialty hospital managed by a Muslim trust in Balassinor in Kheda district,about 100 km from Ahmedabad.
Singh was born on September 26,1932 in Gah,a remote village,now in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Modi charged that “it is the Congress which committed the sin of dividing India into two parts”.
“You say we are changing the geography. Every so often China creates problems on our borders. It has captured hundreds of square kms of our territory. Who changed this geography? It was changed during Congress rule,” Modi said.
Taking the Prime Minister to task on his speech made in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh,Modi said it would have been better if the Prime Minister had spoken on how to tackle price rise and corruption.
“I was hearing PM’s speech yesterday when he was speaking in Chhattisgarh. It would have been better if PM spoke on price rise,corruption but he was talking history and geography,” Modi said.
During his address,Singh had also said “The people of Chhattisgarh and India are aware that parties that talk big are not capable of coming to power…we should alert the people about parties which have communal ideology but are talking about secularism to mislead people.”
Modi said that he fully agreed with PM when he said that those who talk big cannot achieve success.
“I fully agree with you. You cannot achieve success with big talks and the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections is an example. Big talkers were rejected,” Modi said,referring to BJP’s victory in last year’s Assembly polls.
Modi further alleged that the Centre wants to change the route of the Sabarmati-Dandi heritage road that is to be constructed to mark the salt satyagraha underaken by Mahatma Gandhi.
“Gandhiji began his Dandi yatra from Sabarmati Ashram here in 1930. So many of your leaders,including Sonia Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi and you came thereafter. Prime Minister,you said the Dandi yatra route would be made heritage road. You promised to give money too but you did not. And you also wrote a letter six months back,” Modi said.
“The letter said rather than the original Dandi route,if we can alter the path by 30 kms,it will be ok. Who is changing geography here,” Modi asked Singh.
“You have abandoned Gandhi and now you want to leave his path too,” he said.
Modi said he held high respect for the Prime Minister and his office,but had to say the truth.
He said that the first war of independence of 1857 is still taught as “mutiny” to children in schools.
“In 1857,Hindus and Muslims fought shoulder to shoulder. But it is you who call it ‘mutiny’. People who died for the country are called mutineers. It was independence movement. Prime Minister,I want to ask you who has played a role in making India forget its history,” Modi said.
The freedom fighters incarcerated in the Cellular jail of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are now forgotten,he said.
Modi also attacked the PM and the Congress on the issue of history. He charged that Sardar Patel was given the Bharat Ratna 41 years after his death while Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were given the award when they were alive.
He said while Sardar Patel was given the Bharat Ratna with Rajiv Gandhi,even in the case of B R Amdedkar the award was given 33 years after Independence.
“Why was this done?…Is this not playing with history? Who has done this?” Modi said,adding that the Congress was all along busy eulogising one family.