Narendra Modi takes centre stage, attacks Rahul Gandhi but defends Manmohan Singh

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 30 2013, 05:57am hrs
In a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday accused him of committing the "sin" of insulting the Prime Minister when he was abroad and asked people to decide in the next Lok Sabha polls if the nation will be run based on the Constitution or whims of the "prince".

Addressing a huge rally his first in the Capital as BJP's PM candidate Modi tore into the UPA alliance alleging there were "governments within the government" which was affecting the country's overall growth and development.

"The pride of the Prime Minister has been brought down by his own party. Congress party vice president has committed the sin of disrespecting the Prime Minister," he said, referring to Gandhi's public denouncement of the ordinance on convicted lawmakers. "When you are treated like this at home, how will other countries respect you" Modi said referring to the alleged "dehati aurat" (village woman) jab at the Prime Minister by Nawaz Sharif in New York.

Modi said that the Pakistani prime minister has no right to insult the Prime Minister of India. "We may have political differences, we may fight over policies, but that does not mean we will allow any other country to insult our Prime Minister."

But Modi did not spare the PM. "UPA coalition is headed by a sardar but is not 'asardar' (effective)."

Exhorting people to bring the 'dream team' of BJP to power in 2014, he asked them to throw out UPA which is "deeply entrenched" in corruption. "Today the issue is whether the country will run on the whims of the prince or on the basis of the Constitution," he said, alleging that Congress leaders were "disrespecting" the Indian Constitution, Parliament, democracy and the Cabinet.

He said all political allies of UPA are running individual governments because of which nation's growth and development have been severely affected. "There are so many governments in Delhi. There is a mother's government. There is son's government. There is also a son-in-law's government."

"This government is mired in corruption. Instead of finding solutions to problems, it has stopped functioning. This government is paralysed. The UPA government is immersed in Gandhi-bhakti. The Gandhi-bhakti refers to currency notes which they are collecting in tonnes," he alleged.

In his over an hour-long address, the BJP leader lamented that Manmohan Singh was projecting 1.2 billion-strong India as a "poor nation" before US President Barack Obama during his meeting with him on Saturday. Modi said the nation has apprehensions whether he will be able to effectively take up India's concerns on terrorism during his meeting with Sharif.