In an attempt to pit BJP leaders against their own prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Congress has released a video clip — albeit an old one — where Uma Bharti, BJP candidate from Jhansi, is seen criticising him as a "Vinash Purush" (agent of destruction).
This is the second attempt by the Congress to attack Modi using the BJP’s leaders. Six days ago, it had blogged how former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had wanted to remove Modi as the Gujarat CM after the 2002 riots.
On Thursday, the Congress dug out a CD of Bharti wherein she described Gujarat’s development as a "sham" and said "Gujarat has become a fear-stricken state".
A miffed Bharti quickly jumped into damage control and shot off a letter to the EC, requesting it to stop anti-BJP forces from disseminating "fabricated video clips in social and other media" to tarnish Modi’s image.
She tried to offset her earlier comments by stating Thursday that Modi was an "exceptional personality" and the "centre of the country’s hope".
Her letter to the EC stated: "The anti-BJP parties are distorting my speech in bits and pieces and releasing (it) on social media sites with an ulterior move and to gain political mileage by defaming me." The BJP alleged that the video was seven years old.
Commenting on the video, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi equated Modi to dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin and Zia-ul-Haq.
"All these dictators were popularly elected but it did not mean their exoneration from charges of genocide and human rights violations," he said, adding: "The CD does show that there are thousands of such persons in the BJP who consider Modi a dictator, a Vinash Purush."