Congress hiding behind burqa of secularism, says Modi
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi today charged Congress with wearing the "burqa (veil) of secularism" and "hiding in a bunker" each time it is confronted with a crisis. Yogesh Joshi and Satyajit Joshi report. Modi’s all-out attack | Modi at Pune's Fergusson Collegeindia Updated: Jul 15, 2013 16:28 IST
Continuing his attack on the Congress-led UPA government while projecting himself as a better alternative, Narendra Modi on Sunday targeted its big-ticket food security law and accused it of hiding behind a "burqa (veil) of secularism".
Addressing students of Fergusson College, the Gujarat chief minister gave a clear indication that he was in the race for prime ministership: "There is a difference between others and us. Others are interested in power, my priority is empowering the nation."
On the other side of the coin, he said, was the UPA government that "believes if there is a certificate in your hand, there is everything. Just like it believes that every poor person will have food on his plate once the food security bill is passed".
Later, at a public rally - his first in Maharashtra after being made the BJP's campaign chief for Elections 2014 - he said the Congress had a habit of "hiding in a bunker" whenever it was in crisis or failed to fulfill its promises.
"The family-oriented politics of the Congress is the root of all problems in the country," he said.
"The Congress president must explain to the people why poverty was not eliminated. What is this ego that is preventing the Congress leadership from open-mindedly confessing its failures."
Calling Rahul Gandhi "shahzada (prince)", Modi said,"He stays in the hut of a poor person to show what his ancestors had done."
The CM did not spare Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying "arthshastri (economist)" had become "anarth-shastri".
He also accused the Congress of misusing the CBI to protect its own and finish off its opponents. Comparisons to China and South Korea in the education and sports sectors came next.
"A small country like South Korea positioned itself as a world power by successfully conducting the Olympics. India, a country of 120 crore, made a mess of the Commonwealth Games," he said.
"China prioritised education in its budget. In India, we dream of 7% of our budget for education but are stuck at 4%," he added.
Switching easily from seasoned politician to tech-savvy leader, Modi told the students his speech was actually prepared by those who wrote to him on social media and he was only lending his voice to it.
"I don't want to score political points from this forum but would like to ask you whether your years of aspirations have been fulfilled."
Madhura Joshi, a second-year student, said: "It's good that Modi focused his speech on youth as 65% of the country's population is below 35 years."
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