A day after Narendra Modi promised to clean Ganga like Sabarmati, Congress reminded him the central pollution watchdog has said the three most polluted rivers of India flow in his state.
Congress spokesman and Union minister Kapil Sibal said Modi's statement that he will clean the Ganga "is in stark contrast to a survey of Central Pollution Control Board which said the three most polluted rivers—Sabarmati, Khari and Amlakhadi—are in Gujarat.
Modi told reporters in Varanasi, where he filed nominations after a mega roadshow, "he had not come on his own but had been sent by Maa Ganga".
Taking a dig at this remark, Sibal said, "Maa Ganga is very wise and can distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly."
"Modi invoked Gautam Buddha's name. What an irony. Buddha left his kingdom for Nirvana, Modi came to Varanasi for kingdom," he said.
Rejecting Modi's claims of development in his home state, Sibal said, "Vibrant Gujarat is full of vibrant lies. Lies are also vibrant and at the heart of all this is an administration run by a man for whom distorting facts is a daily routine."
In Varanasi, Union Minister and party leader Manish Tewari said the fight for Congress in this election is all about "protecting the idea of India" and asked people of Varanasi to defend its plurality and rich cultural tradition.
"It is a battle of ideologies. In this election, the fight is to protect the core values and ideology which have strong roots in Banaras," Tewari told reporters.
Asked about Modi road show, Tewari said he was told that people from neighbouring areas were "brought" to the city.
"Varanasi has rich tradition and I do not think there will be any major impact of it (road show) in the election. I was told when Rai filed nomination large number of local people had gathered," Tewari said.