Cong, JD-U join hands to slam Modi

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Naren­dra Modi’s ex­pres­sion of his de­sire to “re­pay his debt to Bharat Mata”, the clear­est in­di­ca­tion yet of his in­ten­tion to run for prime min­is­ter, drew sharp crit­i­cism from ri­val Congress as well as ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

A day af­ter the Gu­jarat chief min­is­ter’s re­mark, the Congress ques­tioned his sec­u­lar cre­den­tials while the JD-U said he could serve the coun­try just as well by serv­ing his state in­stead of han­ker­ing af­ter the “Delhi crown”.

“I of­ten worry about the Gu­jarat CM’s state­ments. I hope he does not want to do in the rest of In­dia what he did in Gu­jarat in 2002,” said Union min­is­ter Manish Te­wari, a loaded ref­er­ence to the com­mu­nal ri­ots that Modi just has- n’t man­aged to shake off.

His party col­league Rashid Alvi ap­peared to com­pare Modi with Yam­raj, the Hindu god of death. Asked if Congress vi­cepres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi had Modi in mind when he said at a CII meet­ing on Thurs­day that no “guy on a horse” would come charg­ing through to fix In­dia’s prob­lems, the AICC spokesman re­sponded: “Had he in­tended to in­di­cate Modi, he wouldn’t have re­ferred to some­body rid­ing a horse but to some­body rid­ing a buf­falo (Yam­raj’s ve­hi­cle). Rahul spoke about some­body on a horse, he must have been re­fer­ring to a mes­siah.”

For the BJP, the barb brought back mem­o­ries of So­nia Gandhi’s “maut ka sauda­gar (mer­chant of death)” com­ment in the 2007 Gu­jarat elec­tions cam­paign.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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