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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Modi takes a dig at Nitish; calls AICC 'All India Coal Congress'

PTI   Unai, Gujarat, September 13, 2012
First Published: 19:46 IST(13/9/2012) | Last Updated: 20:54 IST(13/9/2012)

On the second day of his yatra in poll-bound Gujarat, chief minister Narendra Modi today took a dig at his bete noire and Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and also dubbed the AICC as 'All India Coal Congress'.

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Under attack over alleged inaction on the issue of farmers suicide in his state, Modi also announced waiver of Rs. 300 crore interest on crop loans and a rebate in power for drought-hit farmers.

With forthcoming Assembly polls expected to be a new arena for Modi-Nitish faceoff, the BJP stalwart took a dig at Nitish, who has reservations on making Modi NDA's prime ministerial candidate, saying nobody complains when political parties use Osama bin Laden lookalikes during election campaigns in Bihar, but have problems if he takes out a rally.

"Parties used an Osama bin Laden duplicate during the campaigning in Bihar elections and everybody remained silent. Now, when I am taking out a rally in the name of Vivekananda, what is their problem?", he said. Modi's present campaign tour has been named 'Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra'.

Dubbing the Congress as "All India Coal Congress", Modi said, "You would have heard of theft of diamonds, gold, silver, but have you ever heard that somebody took away coal? Congress people have stolen coal, worth Rs. 2 lakh crore."

Modi also attacked the Gandhi family and took a swipe at Congress's slogan 'Change the direction to change your condition' when he said Congress's direction was of 'dynasty rule'.

"Only one family gets importance.... If they make someone Prime Minister, he has to go to the family before taking any decision," he said.

"Congress's 'direction' is of nepotism, spreading communalism, divisive politics and not fulfilling promises," he alleged, adding "We do not want that in Gujarat."

On sops to farmers, Modi said, "It has been decided that interest on the crop loans taken by farmers, hit by drought like conditions, shall be borne by the state government, which would be around Rs. 300 crore."

"The government has also decided to give 50% relief in the electricity bills of such farmers," Modi told newsmen on the sidelines of his Yatra.


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