Modi: Cong exploring international alliance against me

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the Congress of exploring an international alliance to oust his government, having failed in India.

His remark obliquely referred to ex-president of France Françoise Hollande’s comment on the controversial Rafale deal and former Pakistan home minister Rahman Malik’s subsequent prediction that Congress president Rahul Gandhi would become  India's next Prime Minister.

“Will foreign leaders decide India’s Prime Minister?  Has the country come to such a pass? Modi wondered aloud while addressing a BJP workers’ gathering here to mark party’s ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary. The convention was called to galvanise party cadre ahead of the assembly election due in Madhya Pradesh in November this year.

A day before, BJP spokespersons had charged Rahul Gandhi of colluding with Pakistan while rebutting his allegations against the Prime Minister on the Rafale deal.

The Prime Minister is under Congress fire for keeping mum on Hollande’s assertion that Modi presented the fighter aircraft deal as fait accompli to France in 2015 for the benefit of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.

Alluding to Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on him, the Prime Minister said that the Congress had been bitterly attacking him since he became Gujarat chief minister in 2001. “You (the Congress) have used all your might in abusing me. No invective in the dictionary has been spared against me. But just ask your adviser (Sonia Gandhi’s former political adviser Ahmed Patel) how the more you threw mud on me the stronger the lotus bloomed,” he quipped rhetorically.

In his hour-long speech, the Prime Minister lashed out at the Congress for refusing to introspect as to why the 133-year-old party shrunk to just 44 seats.

“We (the BJP) too had reduced to two seats in 1984 but instead of blaming others, we chose to rectify our mistakes and strengthen the cadres,” he said. He accused the Congress of harbouring a sense of entitlement to rule the country.

BJP president Amit Shah too focused his speech on Rahul Gandhi and called him a daydreamer.

“Let Rahul Baba daydream about regaining power in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. But the reality is that the BJP is all set to retain power in these states.”

BJP extravaganza

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's address was devoted partly to praising the Prime Minister, whom he described as God’s gift to India. In the latter half he ridiculed Rahul Gandhi for refusing to grow up from his "amateurish habit of winking".

Recalling the Congress president’s recent Bhopal visit, Chouhan said 'Baba' called him a 'Ghoshana (announcement)-machine' vis-a-vis run-machine Sachin Tendulkar. “Yes, I am Ghoshana-machine and I have fulfilled all those announcements I made to the people,” the chief minister boasted.  

The gathering was touted by the party as the biggest political show in the world with attendance of about 12 lakh workers. However, BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari admitted that six lakh workers turned up for the Karyakarta Mahakumbh. Police sources put the figure at close to three lakh. Over Rs 100 crore is estimated to have been spent on the party extravaganza.

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Modi: Cong exploring international alliance against me

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