Stung by Congress’ diatribes,Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today attacked Rahul Gandhi on his remark that India is a beehive,dubbing it as an insult to the nation which is like a “mother” to its people.
Without naming Gandhi,Modi said at a BJP programme to mark the party’s 33rd foundation day that two days back he had heard the speech of a Congress leader on whom the ruling party is pinning its hopes and whose words are considered “policy” by it.
“I was deeply shocked and very pained to hear him describe the country as a beehive. Is this the way the Congress thinks? I want to tell my Congress friends that they may think of this nation as a beehive but for us this nation is a mother,” Modi said,amid applause from the crowd.
He “pleaded” with the Congress not to insult the “mother”. In an apparent dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Italian origin,Modi said,”If you (Congress) don’t understand India,then learn from others but don’t insult the country.”
Modi,who is being projected by a section of the BJP as a presumptive Prime Ministerial candidate of the party for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls,also accused the Centre of misusing the CBI and Governors.
“I warn the rulers in Delhi that if you think your CBI will be able to dishearten us,your thinking is wrong. If you think you can harass BJP ruled states through your governors,you can take it from me in writing that the people will give a befitting reply to the Centre and the Congress,” Modi said.
“All government institutions are being used to harass the BJP government,its workers and the party,” he added.
Modi has had strained relations with Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal,especially on the appointment of a Lokayukta. Recently,the Lokayukta Bill was passed in Gujarat Assembly giving the CM an upper hand in choosing the anti-graft ombudsman.
“I want to tell my Congress friends that your arrogance of being in power in Delhi is not going to survive for long,” Modi said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister was elevated to the BJP Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee on March 31,paving the way for a national role for him in the party.
In what sounded more like an election speech,the Gujarat Chief Minister claimed there can be no comparison between the Congress and the BJP as both have very different characters and thinking.
“Forget about the Congress ever reforming itself for it can never reform…. The kind of language they are using,the expletives and the way they are misleading the people,” Modi said,alluding to Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi describing him as “Yamaraj (God of death)”.
He also promised that there will be no let up in his hardwork for “Bharat Mata (the nation)”. Modi had reportedly amde clear his prime ministerial ambitions earlier this week when he said the time has come for him to pay back his debt to “Bharat Mata”.
Modi claimed BJP is one of the rare parties which came to power at the Centre in its “youth”. In an interesting comparison,he said Britain’s Labour Party had taken 80 years since its formation to achieve this.
The newfound bonhomie between Modi and BJP President Rajnath Singh was also visible on the stage with the Gujarat Chief Minister describing the latter as his “margadarshak (guide)”. Singh dubbed Modi the most popular BJP leader.
Singh also targeted the Congress for its attacks on Modi,saying,”It pains us when he is called merchant of death. Though he has taught the Congress a lesson in the elections it is not mending its ways. Now they have called him Yamaraj. We will not respond to this. The people will teach them a lesson.”
Referring to Rahul Gandhi,Singh said “The ‘Yuvaraj’ (prince) says the leader will not come on a horse. I can say the BJP leader will neither come on a horse nor an elephant but on foot with the poor and the weak.”