Attacking Congress President Sonia Gandhi over her “silence” on the Bhopal gas tragedy verdict, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today asked her to explain who was the ‘Maut ka saudagar’ (merchant of death).
Sonia Gandhi had during the campaign for the 2007 Gujarat Assembly polls called Modi a merchant of death for the 2002 riots in the state in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage.
“Why is Sonia Gandhi silent on her party and government’s failure in ensuring justice to the Bhopal gas tragedy victims? Now will she explain who is the maut ka saudagar?,” he said while addressing the ‘Swabhiman Rally’ of the BJP on conclusion of the party’s two-day national executive here.
Mr. Modi said several thousands had died during the Bhopal gas leak in 1984 when Madhya Pradesh was ruled by the Congress party.
“The verdict in the case has come out recently after a 26-year delay. But Sonia Gandhi is maintaining a comfortable silence on the matter,” the BJP leader said.
Mr. Modi alleged that Sonia Gandhi’s silence on the issue of price rise of essential commodities “was killing thousands of poor in the country”.
He said the UPA under Sonia Gandhi had come to power with the promise of eradicating poverty, but even after completing a year in their second term, the plight of the poor in the country was only worsening every day.
The Gujarat Chief Minister claimed that the UPA government was helpless when it came to bringing the spiralling prices of essential commodities under control.
“Sonia Gandhi is a mother too. How come she does not understand the burden of a poor mother, who is not able to feed her child due to the high cost of the essential commodities,” he said.
On the Maoist problem, Mr. Modi said some sections in the Congress party claim it was a socio-economic issue and that Maoism grew when there was no development.
“The Congress party has ruled the country for over 50 years out of the 60 years since Independence. If there is no development in the country and if it is giving rise to Maoism, then who is to be blamed but the Congress party,” he said.
Mr. Modi said the Maoists killed innocent people and the extremists should be answered in their own language.
“Development was important, but security of the common man was equally important,” he said.
Mr. Modi also thanked the people of Bihar for the generous help rendered to Gujarat for relief work after earthquake hit the state in 2001.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had yesterday objected to advertisements brought out by Gujarat government saying that it had liberally donated to the state following the Kosi floods.