Modi attacks Congress on CWG scam from Kalmadi's turf



Pune: Under fire from Congress, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today mounted a counter offensive, targeting it over corruption and the ordinance on food security, saying the scam-tainted CWG games "destroyed national honour in the eyes of the world".

"Two countries hosted two games...South Korea hosted Olympics and India the Commonwealth Games. While Korea brought honour to itself through the Olympics, our nation of 120 crore people lost its honour in the eyes of the world," Modi said addressing students and faculty at the Fergusson College.

"One country uses sport to bring laurel to itself among the global community and another brings itself dishonour," he said. Significantly, Modi chose to launch an attack on the Congress over the scam-hit CWG games from the home turf of its disgraced Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

He also took a barb at the Congress over the food security ordinance, being touted as a "game changer" in the run up to the next Lok Sabha elections.

The Food Security Bill is the largest initiative of its kind in the world and brainchild of party president Sonia Gandhi. "They have brought before the nation a food security bill and are claiming as if a meal has already come on the plates," he said.

Referring to growing cyber crimes, Modi said his government has set up world's first Forensic Science University in Gujarat. "Now Congress will say what is new. Mind you, I am not talking about courses in forensic science being taught in colleges and universities. I am talking about a Forensic Science University, which is the first of its kind in the world," he said.

Modi, who had earlier in his speech said he would not talk about politics, chose not to speak about his "Puppy" and "Hindu Nationalist" remarks made during an interview to a news agency recently, which has brought him in the line of Congress fire.

Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, Modi referred to the late Congress Prime Minister's remarks about ushering in a new India in the 21st century, saying, "Our ears have got tired of hearing about the 21st century. Did anybody have the vision about how to take India into the 21st century.

"If anybody had a vision about how to take India into a new millennium, we would not be standing where we stand now," he said.

Modi lamented the "atmosphere of despondency" in the country but said "I have not lost hope." The Gujarat Chief Minister, who was recently elevated as BJP's election campaign committee chief to lead the party's challenge in the next year's Lok Sabha poll, also targeted Indian diplomacy under Congress-led UPA government.

"I am amazed that we have no friends left in the neighbourhood," he said. Amid talks of raising Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the defence sector, Modi said, "the country spends more on importing defence equipment and arms than we do on petroleum products. Do we not have engineers who could manufacture weapons for us, or do we not have the steel to produce such equipment. I tell you, our engineering colleges don't have defence engineering as a subject."

PTI