Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday ridiculed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address to the nation on Friday in which he said “money did not grow on trees” and said it was not applicable to the Congress and its leaders.
“Everybody else knows that money does not grow on trees, but the Congress and its leader do not agree,” he said. The Congress, he said, had found “very fruitful trees in 2G spectrum and coal allocation that are growing huge money for them,” the Chief Minister said.
Addressing a youth convention at the tribal-dominated Dahod as part of his “Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra,” he said people had heard about theft of cars or jewellery or such precious things, but no one had ever heard of people “stealing coal.” But unfortunately “it is true about the UPA government at the Centre.”
Addressing a youth convention in Bhuj on Friday, Mr. Modi said that Dr Singh had changed the definition of democracy, making the Congress-led UPA “a government for the foreigners.”
He referred to the former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln’s famous lines on democracy, “a government of the people, by the people, for the people,” and said the Prime Minister had changed the definition. The Centre’s total inaction in Assam, Dr. Singh’s own constituency, which was suffering from onslaught of illegal migration from Bangladesh, and now the Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retails at the cost of Indian traders, only proved that the UPA government was “of the foreigners, by the foreigners and for the foreigners,” he said.
He said the FDI in retail had been allowed without creating a level-playing field for the Indian traders and alleged that it was deliberately done to give advantage to foreign companies and international retail giants at the cost of the domestic players. Comparing the Congress to “white ants,” Mr. Modi alleged that the party holding power at the Centre for the last 60 years or so, had been “eating into the very foundations of the country” which could no longer be “tolerated” by the people, particularly the youths.
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy told newsmen in Rajkot on Saturday that he visualised mid-term parliamentary elections by February, next year. He claimed that the Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh was only waiting for an opportune moment to pull the rug from under the feet of the Congress and go for mid-term polls. The present UPA government would probably last only till Mr. Yadav formed a third front and declared himself as its prime ministerial candidate. He would then withdraw the outside support and cause the fall of the UPA government. Neither would the Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati be able to stay with the Congress for long and save the UPA government.
After the Union Commerce and Textile Minister Anand Sharma challenged Mr. Modi to contest elections from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar if he felt that his image and political stature was even bigger than that of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil has challenged Mr. Modi to contest the coming Assembly elections against him from Bhavnagar instead of looking for a “safe seat.” Talking to journalists in Vadodara, Mr. Gohil said there could be no comparison between Mr. Modi and Mr. Gandhi, because the latter was “a very fine gentleman and highly educated,” and Mr. Modi lacked both the qualities.