Kicking off his 2014 campaign as the BJP’s face for the Lok Sabha polls at Madhopur – a Punjab town bordering J&K — on the 60th death anniversary of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi attacked the UPA government, calling it weak, directionless and corrupt.
“I want to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh what he did to save Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner who was murdered in a jail across the border,” he asked. He added that even on the issue of Indian fishermen killed by Italian marines, the government moved only on the directions of the Supreme Court.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken who called Modi’s accusations “malicious”.
He said it was surprising to see Modi, as claimed by a leading newspaper, to have “played the role of Rambo" and saving 15,000 lives in
“People of this country are very keenly watching how personal ambitions of a politician in Narendra Modi can make him use such words which would demotivate our armed forces and mar relief operations,” Maken said.
“Many of his utterances, particularly those references to national security, should have been avoided at a juncture when our army is saving lives of people in Uttarakhand.”
That Modi was positioning himself as the Congress’ alternative was clear not just from his tone on Sunday but also from the praises showered on him by Punjab chief minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and BJP’s in-charge for Punjab Shanta Kumar.
In an apparent reference to the PM and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Modi said, “There are two 'pradhans' (chiefs) running the country. The two have in fact ruined the nation.”
He said the UPA government had created far fewer jobs than the NDA government.
Modi said the “Gujarat model” of development should be followed all over the country.