Modi hyping up development in Gujarat: Congress

Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 16:52

Patna: Congress on Thursday claimed that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not succeed in becoming the prime minister, allegedly with his tactics of terrorising people or by creating a hype about development in his state which was not there in the first place.

"One cannot aspire to become the prime minister of the country by creating a hype about development in a state and terrorising the people to elect him to a post," Congress national spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das said.

Terming Modi an "arrogant and divisive" personality, Das alleged that he was "trying to spread the fear of violence among the people" to elect him as the country`s next prime minister.

It was due to his failure to control the 2002 Gujarat riots that the United States and some other countries had accused him of "human rights violations" and denied him a visa, Das said and wondered how a person could aspire to be the prime minister when he would not get a visa to travel abroad.

Das also attacked Modi for attempting to force the country into accepting a presidential style of elections by getting himself anointed the BJP`s prime ministerial candidate.
He questioned Modi`s claims about development in Gujarat under his chief ministership since 2001 and said that the state lies at "11th place in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI)".
Gujarat has been dogged by "high malnutrition rate" among children and "rising unemployment rate" among youths, which puncture Modi`s claims of development, Das added.

The Gujarat Chief Minister has challenged Congress to declare its prime ministerial candidate who would take him on in the upcoming polls, but Das refused to bite the bait, saying that his party had a tradition of not projecting its face for the Lok Sabha elections.

"We cannot be coaxed or forced into anointing a prime ministerial candidate as our party has had no such tradition in the past," Das said.

Congress had not named any prime ministerial candidates for the 2004 and 2009 general elections either, Das added.

"As far we are concerned, the Gandhi family is our leader and guide and it is under their leadership that we have been fighting elections," he said.

On the likelihood of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi being named the prime ministerial candidate, Das said it was for him to decide on the issue.

"It is for Rahul to make up his mind whether he is ready to take up the prime minister`s post and when... The party will accordingly decide on the matter," Das said.

He also downplayed the notion that a prime minister should necessarily be the leader of the country, saying that the former occupants of that office, like HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral, were not national leaders.

On Congress`s role in Bihar, Das denied that the party had entered into a political arrangement with JD(U) after bailing it out on a trust motion three months back.

"We are not into any political or electoral arrangement with JD(U) or Chief Minister Nitish Kumar," he said, adding that the Congress leadership was aware it had lost political ground in Bihar in recent years and efforts were on to revive its support base.


First Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 16:47

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