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PM Modi's Jibe At Manmohan Singh Over "Bharat Mata Ki Jai"

PM Modis Jibe At Manmohan Singh Over Bharat Mata Ki Jai

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today delivered a sharp retort to his predecessor Manmohan Singh over his allegation of "misuse" of the "Bharat Mata ki jai" slogan.

"Some people are not comfortable with the Bharat Mata ki jai slogan," the Prime Minister said at a meeting of BJP parliamentarians today, without naming Mr Singh, reviving the BJP allegation that the Congress leaders are "ashamed" of the nationalistic slogan.

He even traced it back to the freedom movement, in what appeared to be a dig at Jawaharlal Nehru. "Even at the time of the freedom movement, some people felt the same way about the Bharat Mata slogan," the Prime Minister said.

Last week, speaking at a book launch, Mr Singh had taken a dig at the BJP. The idea of nationalism and the "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" slogan, he said, were being "misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens".

The book -- an anthology of speeches, essays and letters of Jawaharlal Nehru -- by Professors Purushottam Agrawal and Radha Krishna, was titled "Who is Bharat Mata".

Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr Singh said he had asked, "Who is this Bharat Mata? Whose victory you wish?"

"The mountains and rivers, forests and fields are of course dear to everyone, but what counted ultimately is the people of India... spread out all over vast land," he quoted Jawaharlal Nehru as saying.

The Bharat Mata slogan has traditionally been a bone of contention between the BJP and the Congress.

Two years ago, then party chief Amit Shah had accused the Congress of being "ashamed" to raise the slogan.

"I happened to know an incident from Rajasthan where a Congress worker wanted to give the slogan 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', but he was interrupted and made to say 'Sonia Gandhi Ki Jai'," Mr Shah claimed. "This shows what is more important to a Congress leader... They are ashamed of giving out such slogans," Mr Shah had added.

(Inputs from ndtv.com)

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