‘Never promised to make India paradise’
Responding to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s dig that he was falsely promising to turn India into a make-believe paradisiacal world, Modi said, ‘I have never claimed that I will make India a paradise and that I have solutions to all problems. I am sure even people do not expect this from me. People of India were not looking forward to miracles but they certainly deserve a stable, decisive and sensitive government.’
Despite sharp attacks on him in the past few days by Congress president’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi, Modi on Sunday refused to enter into a war of vitriol. ‘It is natural that a daughter would like to defend her mother. A sister would like to defend her brother. I do not have any problems with that,’ Modi said on being pointed out that Priyanka Gandhi has accused him of humiliating her family and husband Robert Vadra.
However, the moderation in his discourse did not stop him from criticising the Congress of following a ‘communal agenda.’ Modi sharply attacked recent moves by the Congress for an OBC quota for backward Muslims and said that this was nothing but a ‘last ditch effort’ to indulge in ‘vote bank politics and politics of appeasement on the eve of elections.’
Reacting sharply to Sonia Gandhi’s accusation that his election campaign was a ‘dangerous combination of religious fanaticism, power and money’, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said, ‘faced with certain defeat, fighting for its survival it is once again trying to hide in the bunker of secularism.’ Gujarat chief minister said that the ‘Congress’s last hope was to somehow cross the 100-seat mark which now appears an uphill task.’
Answering a question on how allegations against Vadra would be dealt with in the event of his coming to power, the BJP leader said that he did not believe in politics of vendetta and witch-hunting of which he had been a ‘victim’ for the last ten years. ‘At the same time, nobody was above law and if somebody had done something wrong, the law must take its own course,’ he said.
Asked if he would reach out to three powerful regional leaders Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati, who had been critical of him during the campaign but whose support he may need after the poll results were out, Modi said, ‘As of now I firmly believe that the BJP with its pre-poll NDA partners is going to get the required numbers. We already have a big and powerful alliance of more than 25 partners.’