The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday raised the issue of alleged favours given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s family in Haryana and Rajasthan. Thursday was also the national capital region’s date with Modi as he attacked the Congress and the Gandhi family in back-toback rallies in Ghaziabad and Gurgaon.
Accusing the Congress of shifting to “rabid communalism” for votes, a reference to Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with the shahi imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Modi also unleashed a flurry of innuendos at her son Rahul and son-in-law Robert Vadra while also bringing up the issue of cattle slaughter. The NCR and Haryana go to polls on April 10.
At Kurukshetra, Modi said Congress was in politics “to loot natural resources and stash the ill-gotten money in overseas banks”. “If voted to power, I will not only bring back the money of the corrupt individuals, but our government will also take such people to task.”
Though he did not expressly name Sonia’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, Modi said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, “asks poor villagers to protect natural resources, while his relatives are given undue favours in land deals”. Modi addressed a well-attended rally at the New Grain Market in the afternoon in support of three party candidates — Raj Kumar Saini (Kurukshetra), Rattan Lal Kataria (Ambala) and newspaper owner Ashwini Kumar Chopra ‘Minna’ (Karnal).
He reiterated his pitch that while “the country needs a chowkidaar (watchman) and I will serve like one, shehzada (referring to Rahul) says the country needs 1.25 crore citizens as chowkidars. I ask him: Will his jija-ji (brother-in-law, Robert Vadra) be a chowkidar too?”
In a veiled attack on Congress sitting MP and candidate from Kurukshetra, Naveen Jindal, Modi said, “Here, the battle is between corruption and honesty.”
At Ghaziabad , he said the Congress was “troubled as “there is no smell of communalism in what Modi is saying...”
“They don’t know how to deal with me. Sensing defeat, they have dropped the slogan of secularism and started rabid communalism. The Congress leader has started speaking the language of rabid communalism,” Modi said.
The vegetarian Modi also warned that the country’s expanding meat industry would lead to its “ruin”.
Aimed at establishing a direct connection with the local people in Kurukshetra, Modi also promised to put the town’s rich cultural heritage to great use at international forums. The Gujarat CM added, “I have a direct connection with Haryana due to Lord Krishna. After delivering the message of Gita at Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna preferred to stay at Dwaraka in Gujarat.”