The CBI, and not the Congress, would fight the coming state and general election as the party didn’t have the courage to take on the BJP, the saffron party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi said at a public rally in Bhopal on Wednesday.
“Congress isn’t fielding candidates in MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi this time. The CBI will fight the next polls,” said the Gujarat CM, accusing the Centre of misusing the investigating agency to hound political opponents.
Madhya Pradesh and four other states are to go to the polls by year-end.
The Jamboree ground rally, attended by the BJP brass, was being keenly watched, primarily to gauge the mood within the party after it named Modi as the PM candidate. Party patriarch LK Advani had even gone public with his displeasure but only to come around later.
An attempt was made to put up a united front but cold vibes were hard to miss. Modi touched Advani’s feet who presented him a bouquet but the warmth was missing.
But the massive crowd, which continued shouting Modi’s name even as other leaders spoke, more than made up for it. It patiently waited for four hours in blistering heat to hear Modi and cheered when he called for a Congress-free India. “One dream of Mahatma Gandhi stays un fulfilled. Gandhi ji had dreamt towards the end of his life that the Congress be disbanded. We have to fulfil his dream by delivering a Congress-free India.”
The Modi chant even forced Advani to wind up his address. As the Gujarat CM was the last speaker of the day, the slogans continued even as BJP chief Rajnath Singh, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi and even CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke. Chouhan, however, took his time and had his say.
Interestingly, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Chouhan stuck to MP theme barely making a mention of Modi.
Modi, however, was lavish in his praise of Chouhan, who at one time was seen as the Gujarat CM’s rival before he was named the PM candidate. Advani hailed the work done by the Gujarat government and also by MP and Chhattisgarh governments.