Rahul does not deserve to be Prime Minister, says Mulayam

Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress of promoting “vote bank” politics and of pursuing “divisive policies.”

Addressing the party rally in Agra, he said the Congress' policy policies of “appeasing” a section of people and neglecting another, carving out States on the basis of language and not resolving water-sharing disputes between States were a manifestation of its divisive and vote-bank policy, which were now being emulated by the other parties.

“The Congress' s policies are were now being emulated by the SP Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. These parties seem to be competing with each other in the race for pursuing vote-bank politics,” he said.

Mr. Modi cited the power crisis in Uttar Pradesh as an example of the government's failure to focus on development issues and an illustration of the “rampant corruption” that the SP government had failed to curb and eradicate.

“Several power generation units in the country have been forced close, because there is no coal. Have you ever heard of even petty thieves stealing coal? The government at the Centre has done even that,” he said.

Mr. Modi focussed on issues of local significance — power and water shortage, unemployment and forced economic migration.

“In Gujarat, we have people from all over Uttar Pradesh who come for employment opportunities and of late we have started getting people from Agra as well. The closure of factories in Agra has forced the youth to move out in search of livelihood,” he said

Mulayam attacks Rahul

Launching an attack on the UPA government, Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh on Thursday said the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi did not deserve to be the Prime Minister.

Addressing a well-attended “Desh bachao desh banao” rally at Islamiya Maidan at Bareilly, Mr. Singh, referred to the Ordinance to allow convicted persons from contesting the elections, which was torn by Mr. Gandhi. The Prime Minister’s (Manmohan Singh) position was being weakened by his party. Mr. Singh added that the Prime Minister should have resigned. Without mentioning Mr. Gandhi, the SP chief said “a Congress leader who is a claimant for prime ministership had torn the Ordinance. He does not deserve to be the Prime Minister.”

Mr. Singh attacked the UPA government for the threat along the country’s borders with Pakistan and China and said India has had no friends left in the comity of nations. In this context, he the former Defence Minister criticised “some MPs,” who “wanted the division of Sri Lanka.” Mr. Singh did not elaborate on this count and identify the MPs.

The SP chief ensured that his larger message of assuaging the hurt feelings of the Muslims in the wake of September’s communal violence in Muzaffarnagar was not missed by the minority community. Bareilly, situated in the Muslim dominated Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, represents the influential voice of the Barelvi school of Sunni Muslims who have a decisive say in the outcome of the election in about a dozen Lok Sabha seats.

But, notwithstanding his attempts to woo the Muslims, Mr. Singh “spared” Mr. Modi and chose not to attack him. It was left for Mr. Azam Khan, who spoke before the SP president, to launch a blistering attack on Mr. Modi and the “communal forces.”

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