Modi rakes up Italian Marines issue, slams Sonia

Last Updated 31 March 2014, 09:03 IST

Hitting back at Sonia Gandhi over her patriotism jibe, Narendra Modi said today that people of the country did not need a certificate from her and attacked her over the Italian marines issue, questioning at whose behest they were given a chance to leave the country.

Taking potshots at the Congress President, he referred to her remarks yesterday that "some people were beating drums of patriotism" and said she should not raise a question mark on people's love for their country.

Claiming that Gandhi had raised a question mark on the patriotism of the people, Modi asked her at whose whose direction the two Italian marines accused of shooting Indian fishermen off Kerala coast were allowed to leave the country.

"Who was it at whose behest the government in Delhi gave the marines a chance to go back to Italy," Modi asked.

Had the Supreme Court not taken a strong stand on the matter, the marines would not have come back, he said.

The Italian marines had been permitted by the Supreme Court to leave the country to participate in Italy's elections. However, when Italy refused to send the marines back, the Supreme Court restrained the Italian ambassador from leaving the country. Italy later relented and sent the marines back.

Gandhi had yesterday attacked the BJP, saying that "some people are beating the drum of patriotism" and added that these people who did not believe in secular values only wanted to "grab power" by misleading the people.

Hitting out at the Congress further, Modi said that its manifesto was a "dhokhapatra" (cheatsheet) and that the party had in the last elections promised to bring inflation down in 100 days which had not happened.

Modi also raised the issue of the death of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania in Delhi, saying that he was pained by such incidents but the Congress President had not mentioned the incident when she visited the Northeast.

(Published 31 March 2014, 09:03 IST)

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