Refuting Gujarat Chief Minister M. Narendra Modi’s claim that the BJP has ensured communal harmony in the coastal region of the State, Congress leader and the former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary said communal incidents have increased since the party came to power in Karnataka.

Churches had been attacked multiple times and there had been several incidents of moral policing. People transporting cattle had also been attacked. Even last month, they attacked a prayer hall in Udupi. Even the attack on men and women in the ‘homestay’ in the name of protecting Hindu was communal in nature.

“The government and RSS workers have tried all they can, but people have not let these incidents turn into riots.” He said Mr. Modi “did not have the courage to talk about the BJP’s governance in Karnataka”.

Addressing presspersons here immediately after Mr. Modi’s speech, Mr. Poojary said it was “beneficial” for the Congress that the Gujarat Chief Minister campaigned here as his “communal intentions will be rejected by the people”.

Throwing up a dramatic ultimatum, the Congress campaign supervisor in the district, said he would retire from politics if Modi’s prediction of BJP re-election in the State came true.

“However, if the BJP did not come to power again, he should resign from the Chief Minister’s post and abstain from politics. I will give him 24 hours to reply,” said a defiant Mr. Poojary.

Furthermore, he took objection to reference to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi as being fed by a golden spoon.

“How can he [Mr. Modi] say that when G. Janardhan Reddy [former BJP Minister jailed for his role in the illegal mining scam] had a golden chair and fed himself with golden spoons,” he said.

On Mr. Modi’s comments on UPA failure to protect Sarabjit Singh, Mr. Poojary accused the chief minister of not knowing “international” law.

Mr. Poojary claimed the petty accusation and statements issued by Mr. Modi did not show signs of “someone who could become a Prime Minister.”

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