New Delhi: Dismissing Congress criticism of Narendra Modi`s Independence Day speech, BJP on Friday said that instead of worrying about the economy, the ruling party is making its "Modi-phobia" evident and lowering the political debate with use of "derogatory" terms against him.
"Congress reacts to Modi as if it has been stung by a high voltage wire," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The party charged that though Rupee has been sliding which is affecting the common people adversely, Congress ministers, general secretaries and spokespersons were more concerned about targeting Modi and were not losing any opportunity to use objectionable language.
BJP came out with a vociferous defence of Modi`s attack on the Prime Minister yesterday but it was dented to some extent as it faced uncomfortable questions about patriarch LK Advani`s jibes at the Gujarat Chief Minister.
"There is a great sense of concern about the falling Rupee. It is about to cross the Rs 62 to a dollar mark. The state of affairs of the Indian economy is very grave. But instead of focussing on this, the Congress Cabinet ministers, general secretaries and leaders attention has been on reacting impulsively to Modi. They are suffering from Modi-phobia," Sitharaman said.
BJP countered the contention of the Congress that the opposition should not speak against the Prime Minister`s Independence Day speech, saying the ruling party is using all possible "alibis" to evade criticism.
"Congress always says this is not the appropriate time to talk about the issue whether it is a Maoist attack, beheading of soldiers, gouging the eyes of our army personnel or mutilation of their bodies by Pakistan," Sitharaman said.
The party rued that Congress leaders are using terms like "a frog which talks, monkey, a snake that bites, merchant of death and even guttersnipe" against Modi.
Sitharaman said not only Modi but even President Pranab Mukherjee had strongly criticised the government in his speech on the eve of Independence Day.
"One gets the impression that the Congress Ministers do not do their duty and instead react impulsively to Modi," she said.
Citing a report that LeT has claimed responsibility for the Bodhgaya blasts, Sitharaman alleged that a Congress general secretary had earlier charged that BJP is somehow involved as the attack took place after JD(U)-BJP break-up.
"We condemn such judgements, insinuations, finger pointing by the Congress even before the probe is completed. Congress has played this communal card for long. Congress reacts to Modi as if it has been stung by a high voltage wire," she said.
Asked about Advani`s subtle suggestion that Modi should not have taken on the PM on Independence Day, Sitharaman said, "He is a very respected leader and our mentor. We take every word of his seriously. Tell us one leader in any party who has 63 years of experience and exposure. We will introspect on his suggestion."
Defending BJP`s right to take on the government, the BJP leader said her party has "not criticised the nation or waged a war against it".
She maintained that Congress cannot set an auspicious time for criticism and insisted that such a practice exists in the US as well where the State of the Union Address by the President is criticised by the opposition.
Sitharaman said the economy is in a bad shape which forced the Finance Minister to make the extra effort of going around the world to get investment. The growing Current Account Deficit is very worrying.
She said investment is not coming to India due to the falling Rupee and even those who were hopeful that the exports will grow in this scenario have been disappointed.
"Though the situation is very grave, government has been saying that there is nothing to worry, they are taking care of the situation and the fundamentals of the economy are strong. What more than the present situation can hurt us?" she said.