BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi slammed external affairs minister Salman Khurshid for his critical comments on the Supreme Court and Election Commission here on Friday.
"We are proud of our democracy. Our Election Commission and Supreme Court work so efficiently. But our foreign minister criticised them on foreign soil and shamed India," Modi said at a large gathering of about 70,000 people.
Khurshid had said in London on Wednesday that the Supreme Court and the Election Commission directed political parties and parliamentarians to a great extent. He had said directions issued by the EC could only ensure that a party lost elections rather than win them.
About apex court judges, Khurshid said they should stop directing parliamentarians and needed to get their act together.
On his second visit to Odisha, which has 21 Lok Sabha seats, since February, Modi reiterated his criticism of the Congress party’s inability to contain prices and its neglect of tirbals and poor people in general.
Unlike his criticism of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik at his previous rally in Bhubaneswar on February 12, Modi had he mentioned Patnaik in passing here. “I don’t want to talk about a chief minister who doesn’t have time for his own people,” he said.
The crowd, many among them wearing Modi-masks and caps, waited for him for more than an hour in the scorching heat. The BJP had mobilised a large number of slum dwellers and people from villages in and around the district. An equal number of local residents, including college students and government employees came to the rally too.
“We hope to win all five seats in this part of the state this time,” said Suresh Pujari, party spokesperson and Sambalpur candidate.