Modi lashes out at Congress, brands AAP its ‘saviours’
Visibly perked up by a lakh-strong crowd at Merces near Ribandar bypass, the Gujarat chief minister chose the occasion to attack his opponents with his signature high-octane address. Accusing Congress of playing vote-bank politics, Modi on Sunday attacked home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over his proposal to state governments to review terror cases against members of the minority community.
‘Just look at their brazenness, they are playing communal politics. The home minister has written a letter to state governments that if you arrest a law breaker, make sure that Muslims are not arrested. Why is it so? Does a law breaker have any religion?’ he asked during the 45-minute-long speech where he launched a scathing criticism on the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government on various counts.
‘Will religion decide the fate of a law breaker if he should be arrested or released? There should be no discrimination on basis of religion. One should not be punished for belonging to a particular religion. Law should be equal for all people. There should be no vote-bank politics,’ Modi said.
The BJP has hit out at Shinde for the way he is taking up the issue of criminal law where only public prosecutor and judge can take a final call on withdrawing cases. The party said the home minister is ‘ill-advised’ on the matter as he has no right to withdraw such cases.
Focusing on the rise of AAP as a probable opponent, Modi hit out at the new political outfit without naming them. ‘The people of this country have to decide whether they want those who are seen on TV screens or those who are decisive and strong leaders. I have been serving my state for years but could not make it to the headlines of newspapers, neither could I make my place on TV screens but I made my place in the hearts of the people,’ said Modi indirectly referring to comparisons being made between him and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
The BJP prime ministerial candidate also made a veiled reference to the removal of Jayanthi Natarajan from environment ministry, saying for the first time he had heard of ‘Jayanthi tax’ apparently referring to swirling allegations during her tenure. ‘There was a storm over the environment ministry and all files were blocked. No file was moving without money. We had heard of income, sales and excise taxes but for the first time, we heard about a Jayanthi tax in Delhi without which nothing was moving,’ he said.
On the other hand, he vouched for the personal honesty of his party leaders. ‘After being the PM for so long, Atal Bihari Vajpayee still does not have his own house to live. BJP leaders work for the people of this country selflessly,’ said.