NATIONAL

Modi's challenge to Musharraf

AMBAJI (Gujarat) Oct. 5. A subdued Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, rattled by a restive crowd, today described the Congress as a ``leaderless, rudderless, directionless party'' and advised it to ``fold itself up'' to make way for a more effective Opposition party.

Launching the fourth leg of his controversial `gaurav rath yatra from the pilgrim town of Ambaji, Mr. Modi alleged that the Congress which ``invited'' the terrorist attack right up to the Akshardham temple had ``ruined the country'' while in power and even in the Opposition, it had failed to function effectively.

After accosting the Kshatriyas in Phagwel, the Scheduled Castes in Jhanjharka and tribals in Unnai in the last three legs, the fourth leg was ``dedicated'' to women and Mr. Modi and the Union Minister, Uma Bharti, who flagged off the rally here this afternoon, enumerated welfare measures being taken by the BJP governments at the Centre and in the State. But realising that mere enumeration of the administrative measures had failed to enthuse the women, Mr. Modi shifted to his now famous ``Miyan Musharraf'' version of the terrorist attack and even dared the Pakistan President to send more terrorists to Gujarat and said the people of the State would not be cowed down by terrorism.

``Even our women are enough to fight your terrorists,'' Mr. Modi said addressing Gen. Musharraf. The General would not be able to rest in peace even in his ``graveyard'' for the way he was shedding the blood of the people of India.

With both his personal and the general security for the rath yatra stepped up manifold following the terrorist attack on Akshardham and busting of a Jaish-e-Mohammad gang allegedly plotting his assassination, Mr. Modi said that even if one Modi was killed ``thousands of Narendra Modis'' would be born to face the terrorists. ``Come what may, it is our resolve that we will not rest till we finish off terrorism'', he said.

Ms. Bharti, who ``renamed'' the State Congress president, Shankarsinh Waghela, as ``Shakuni mama'' after the Mahabharata character known for creating rifts between brothers, accused the Congress of ``supporting and helping'' terrorists and said that more than the problems of poverty, unemployment and recession, the biggest menace facing the country was the ``enemies within.''

The fourth leg of the yatra, which would move through three north Gujarat districts, however, did not attract as much roadside crowds as his three earlier legs did.

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