Higher Education and Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande has taken exception to allegations made by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre during his public speech here on Sunday.

In a statement here on Monday, Mr. Deshpande said that Mr. Modi unduly gave credit to the National Democratic Alliance government for many of the achievements of the Congress-led dispensation at the Centre.

Mr. Deshpande criticised Mr. Modi for alleging that the UPA government is surviving today because of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) blessings. He said that the CBI is an independent body and Mr. Modi would do well to remember that it existed even when the NDA was in power.

Mr. Modi, he said, was erroneously holding the UPA government responsible for economic recession, which is a global phenomenon. Mr. Modi “cleverly forgot” the fact that the UPA government is making efforts to cushion people from the ill-effects of recession, Mr. Deshpande said.

Mr. Deshpande said that contrary to the claims of Mr. Modi, the IT revolution in the State had nothing to do with the policies of the NDA government at the Centre, but was ushered in by the S.M. Krishna-led Congress government in 1997.

The Minister criticised the other BJP leaders who were with Mr. Modi on the dais at Sunday’s meeting for criticising the Siddaramaiah government for introducing various social welfare schemes. Mr. Siddaramaiah was treading the path of social justice, he said and added that it was not discrimination as claimed by the BJP leaders, while referring to the controversy created by the BJP over the Shaadi Bhagya and other schemes.

“Our politics is on the foundation of social justice and not communalism, unlike the BJP,” he said.

Mr. Deshpande said that the BJP was indulging in such slander unable to stomach the defeat in the two by-elections to the Lok Sabha in the State.

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