Modi lights into Akhilesh for ‘donkey’ barb

I take inspiration from ‘loyal’ and ‘hard working’ animal: PM

February 23, 2017 11:35 pm | Updated February 24, 2017 11:37 am IST - Bahraich (U.P.)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he was amused that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was “afraid” of the donkeys of Gujarat, but he on his part took inspiration from the “loyal” and “hardworking” animal.

Responding to the donkey remarks made by Mr. Yadav at an election meeting in Rae Bareli three days ago, Mr. Modi said the criticism of donkeys by the Chief Ministry only reflected his “casteist mentality” and “the feeling of hatred does not suit him”.

“In elections, opponents criticise each other ... Akhilesh ji , I can understand if you attack me and the BJP, but I am amused that you have attacked donkeys ... are you afraid of donkeys ... these are thousands of kilometres away,” Mr. Modi said.

‘People are my master’

Addressing the BJP’s Vijay Shanknaad rally here, he said, “The people of this country are my master, I take inspiration from the donkey because I work for people day and night ... donkeys are loyal to their master.” “I am amused that your casteist mentality is having a reflection on animals too... you found donkeys so bad ... it is natural as your government is so efficient that the entire government goes about looking for buffaloes when they go missing,” he said.

Mr. Modi’s reference was to the buffaloes of Minister Azam Khan which had gone missing in Rampur and the police had to track them down. “This is the pehchaan [identity] of your government but you are not aware that donkeys too give us inspiration if heart and mind are clear ... we can also take that inspiration, it is loyal to the master and is very economical,” he said.

“Akhilesh ji , these 125 crore countrymen are my masters ... I do all the work they ask me to do as I take inspiration from donkeys and take it with full pride,” Mr. Modi said. Elaborating, he said, “Donkeys do not discriminate while carrying anything on their back ... whether it is a bag of sugar or of lime... [those who discriminate] are the ones who are neck deep in corruption.”

Gujarat’s greatness

“Akhilesh ji , you might hate the donkeys of Gujarat but it was that very State which gave birth to Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi ... and Lord Krishna chose to stay,” he said.

“This feeling of hatred does not suit you,” Mr. Modi told Akhilesh, adding that his alliance partner Congress, which led the erstwhile UPA government, had even released a stamp on Gujarat’s donkeys.

Jinko aapne gale lagaya hai... unko bhi samajhne ka prayas kartey jab unki sarkar thi... 2013 mein inhi gadho ka postal stamp nikala tha ,” he said, adding it must have been clear to him by now as to how talented and important donkeys are.

At a rally in Rae Bareli, Mr. Akhilesh had said: “There comes an advertisement featuring a donkey. I will ask the megastar of this century to stop campaigning for donkeys.”

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