Nuh/Itanagar/Guwahati, March 31:
The Congress-BJP war of words escalated Monday, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi charging the BJP with indulging in “politics of hate” and BJP star Narendra Modi accusing the Congress of making “false promises”.
Without taking Modi’s name, Gandhi told an election rally in Nuh in Mewat district of Haryana that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was misleading the people to grab power.
“They (BJP) indulge in politics of hate and its leaders have their eyes set on the post of the prime minister,” she said.
Questioning BJP’s secular credentials, she said the Congress ideology was not based on religion or caste. Therefore, only the Congress could provide a government which cares for all religions.
“People whose hearts are filled with hatred cannot form a stable government and cannot take the nation forward… We are struggling for an India which is secular and gives equal rights to all its citizens.”
Modi, addressing rallies in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, accused the Congress of making false promises.
“They (Congress) say ‘we do what we say’. The Congress in 2009 promised to bring down price rise, but did it go down?” asked Modi in Itanagar. His question was received with a roaring “no”.
He then asked, equally loudly, if inflation has risen. The crowd responded with a thunderous “yes”.
Modi also launched an indirect attack against Gandhi over the 2012 killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines who were then allowed to leave the country.
“At whose behest did the government in Delhi give the marines a chance to go back to Italy? Had the Supreme Court not taken a strong stand on the matter, the marines would not have come back.”
Modi also slammed Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the attacks on the people from northeast in Delhi.
“Children from the northeast are not safe in Delhi. In Delhi, a northeastern boy was killed,” he said, referring to the murder of a young student from Arunachal Pradesh in the capital.
Modi was speaking in Biswanath Chairali in Assam, near the Arunachal Pradesh border, over 250 km from Guwahati.
The BJP leader said attacks on students from the northeast pained him.
“I have expressed my apologies for the incident… I was told Sonia madam and Shehzada also came here. Did they say a single word over the incident? No, they are not bothered.”
Modi also said the Congress manifesto for the Lok Sabha election was packed with false promises.
“The Congress ‘ghoshana patra’ is actually a ‘dhokha patra’,” he said.
Leaders of both the parties are focusing on the northeast now as it will kick off the first round of the staggered Lok Sabha polls beginning April 7.
Five of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam and one of the two in Tripura will see polling April 7.