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Modi dares Centre, BJP not amused

Modi asked the BJP headquarters to brief media on his “challenge” as a response to the Congress accusing him of treason and sedition for making that statement.
By Shekhar Iyer | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 01:03 AM IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday challenged the Centre to file a case of sedition against him, stoking the controversy over his statement that the UPA Government should stop collecting taxes from Gujarat if it


cannot give back sufficient funds.

Modi asked the BJP headquarters to brief media on his “challenge” as a response to the Congress accusing him of treason and sedition for making that statement. The BJP, however, kept a distance from Modi’s challenge, not wanting to get further embroiled in the controversy. A BJP leader who did not wish to be named said he was under instruction to brief the media only about Modi’s response.

The party had nothing to add to senior leader Venkaiah Naidu’s statement on Wednesday – that Modi’s remarks reflected his anguish over the Centre’s discrimination against BJP-ruled states, he said.

Also, Modi was upset by the Congress claim that the development for which he takes credit was carried out with Central funds and that the Gujarat Government doesn’t spend all the money it gets from the Centre.

BJP leaders are not too pleased with Modi’s stand. They feel non-BJP CMs could make similar statements if the NDA comes to power.

They said Modi appears to be preparing for a showdown with the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls by raising Gujarat’s cause again.

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