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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Congress hiding behind ’burqa’ of secularism: Modi

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Pune: Getting into election mode after his elevation in BJP, Narendra Modi Sunday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the downturn in economy, falling rupee and corruption while accusing Congress of hiding behind a veil of secularism to cover its failures. The Gujarat Chief Minister lashed out at Congress for failing to deliver on its promise to remove poverty and instead handing "out a piece of paper" containing a law on food security. Addressing a public rally here this evening, Modi hit out at the Prime Minister, saying he was following the path of destruction despite being among the best economists.
"The rupee is falling because those sitting in Delhi are busy looting and eating money. Congress is one stream where even the best among economists starts treading the path of destruction," he said. Targeting Congress for giving Rahul Gandhi a prominent role in the party, Modi said, "The dynastic politics of Congress is at the root of the problems faced by the country. The dynasty has crushed people's expectations. The Congress has taken people for granted." Without naming Rahul, Modi took a jibe at him saying, "the Congress' Shehzade (prince) goes to poor people's homes, calls media to look at the ruins of what were once palaces and says, look, this is what our ancestors have done." Facing criticism from his opponents for defending his government over the Gujarat riots, Modi said, "Look minutely, whenever Congress is faced with a challenge- whether it is corruption, price rise, directives from the Supreme Court, or a minister being jailed, or the rape of girls or an atmosphere of insecurity- they do not answer the people.
"The moment there is a crisis, they wear the 'burqa' (veil) of secularism and hide in a bunker," he said.
BJP has often charged the Congress with engaging in minority appeasement for votebank politics. Modi said Congress follows this act by insisting that one should not talk about poverty or corruption or price rise at this juncture as "secularism is in danger". He charged that Congress has done this for decades. He alleged that though the government had promised to bring down prices within 100 days of coming to power but prices have only gone up.
"But not even once has any Congress leader or the Congress President or the Prime Minister said that we are trying to bring it down, that we have not succeeded but we are working on it," Modi said.
Modi alleged that the present regime was suffering from a "policy paralysis" which was reflecting in its failures on all fronts.
. "Power plants in the country are shut down because there is no supply of coal. PM is sitting on files and there is no decision-making. The country is in the dark", he added.
Modi said the government's inaction in bringing back the black money stashed abroad gave rise to the suspicion that it was trying to "protect" some people and their money.
"When the country became independent, the rupee was almost equivalent to the dollar. Now, the rupee is falling and it looks as if it will reach the FM's age (in terms of value in relation to US dollar),"
. The rupee has in recent days crossed an all time low of over Rs 61 to a dollar. The country, he said, would not be free of problems "unless we create a Congress-free India". Modi, recently elevated as BJP's election campaign committee chief, said currencies of neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh had not lost value despite the global downturn.
"This is because those sitting in Delhi are so busy eating and looting that they are not bothered about the rupee," he said.
Attacking the government over issuing in a hurry the food security ordinance, touted as a "game-changer" by Congress ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls, Modi said, "people are not getting two square meals a day. So, they have brought a law, irrespective of whether it is possible or not to give food to give the people a piece of paper containing a law that they will get food as a matter of right." Modi said the Congress-led UPA brought the ordinance instead of waiting for a Parliament session as it did not trust its allies.
"Why was the ordinance brought in a hurry, instead of the bill? It is because they don't trust the UPA partners," he said in an apparent reference to UPA allies who were not in favour of the measure to be brought in the form of an ordinance.
Some of the UPA allies, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar had openly expressed their reservations about the government adopting the ordinance route and favoured the measure, the brainchild of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, to be implemented only after a thorough discussion in Parliament. Raising questions about Congress' commitment to eradicating poverty, Modi said,
"The shameless Congress party reneged on its promise of garibi hatao made over 35 years back. They gave this slogan and the poor voted for Congress with the hope that their plight will improve. "Now, Congressmen concede in private it is not possible for them to eradicate poverty," he said, adding that "Congress cannot suppress expectations of people in the name of secularism."
. Modi dared Congress to a debate on achievements during the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government's rule and UPA dispensation on issues like the falling rupee, inflation and infrastructure development.
"This government is too arrogant to bow its head and admit that it cannot check inflation," Modi said and demanded to know, "Why is not the elected government accountable to people."
Modi also accused the Centre of "misusing" CBI to fix political rivals. "It was from Pune that Lokmanya Tilak challenged the British empire. He gave the mantra of 'swaraj is my birthright'. Now, 60 years after Independence, the slogan of 'Suraj' (good governance) is my birthright should be given from Pune," he said.
Earlier in the day, Modi slammed the UPA government over scam-tainted CWG games, saying it "destroyed national honour in the eyes of the world".
"Two countries hosted two games...South Korea hosted Olympics and India the Commonwealth Games. While Korea brought honour to itself through the Olympics, our nation of 120 crore people lost its honour in the eyes of the world," Modi said addressing students and faculty at the Fergusson College here.

"One country uses sport to bring laurel to itself among the global community and another brings itself dishonour," he said.
. Significantly, Modi chose to attack Congress on the home turf of disgraced CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, a suspended Congress Lok Sabha member from Pune. News credits -MMonline(English)

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