The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi attacked top Congress leaders — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and ex-environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan — at a rally in Panaji on Sunday, saying the last 10 years of Congress rule was the worst the country had seen.
Modi launched a scathing attack on former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, saying that a “Jayanthi tax” was needed to move files in the environment ministry during her tenure.
"There was a storm in the environment ministry and all files were blocked. No files were moving without money. We had heard of income, sales, and excise taxes, but for the first time, we heard about a Jayanthi tax in Delhi. Till the time that was not paid, files could not be moved,” Modi said.
Natarajan reacted sharply to the allegations. “It is an attempt to intimidate me as I have been vocally speaking against Modi. I deny the allegation as baseless and false,” she told HT from Chennai.
"I will have to see to full content of Modi’s speech before I contemplate any further course of action on the issue,” Natarajan added.
Accusing the UPA government of playing vote-bank politics, Modi also tore into home minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his proposal to review terror cases against members of the minority community.
“Shinde says if you arrest criminals, make sure that Muslims aren’t arrested. Why? Will religion decide if a criminal is arrested or released? There should be no discrimination on basis of religion. One should not be punished for belonging to a particular religion but this should be for all people,” Modi said.
Shinde had on Friday asked all chief ministers to review cases against members of the minority community who were being held without trial for long periods.
In a similar letter in September, Shinde had asked the states to avoid “wrongfully” detaining youths belonging to the minority community.
Criticising Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh, Modi said that when the PM is asked about such letters, “He expresses surprise and says he will look into the matter. This is how he reacts and responds.”
Full coverage: The rise of Narendra Modi