Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his remarks against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “Swachh Bharat”, Union Minister and senior Bhartiya Janata Party leader Venkaiah Naidu yesterday said it was Congress which had exploited the people on every plank like caste and creed.
At a party function at Delhi on the eve of the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru, the Congress Vice-President had said, “These days, the foundation of love and brotherhood is being demolished. On one hand houses are being painted and roads are being cleaned. Photo opportunities are happening. Snaps are being taken. On the other hand, poison is being spread. The very foundations are being weakened.”
Joining issue, Nadu said, “You have exploited (the people) all these years through politics of region, sex, caste, creed and religion…and you have poll results to see…you criticize us?”
“We work for the entire country irrespective of caste, creed and region and we believe India is one,” he said.
Slamming Congress for not inviting the Prime Minister for the Nehru anniversary function, he said the “loss was not to Modi but to the Congress”.
Alleging that Congress was using the function to further its political agenda by inviting BJP’s political rivals to it, he said it will not help improve its lot.
“Congress should see the mandate, its message and analyse and try to behave,” he said.
“If at all Congress wants to have some future they must try and rectify their mistakes rather than making such absurd allegations against Prime Minister and the party,” the Union Minister said.
Stoutly denying that ‘Swachh Bharat’ was being used for photo-opportunities, Naidu said, “We are not asking for photo opportunity…photographers come considering the importance of icons from several fields who are involved in it.”
He quoted Modi as saying that “Swachh Bharat is a people’s campaign and not government a function…people have to get involved in it and has to become a people’s movement and I am happy it is becoming a jana andolan.”
Leading lights from various fields and spiritual gurus and institutions including a famous Islamic Centre of learning in Uttar Pradesh have lent their support to the initiative making it a people’s initiative, he claimed.
“I appeal to the Congress party to join Swachh Bharat campaign so that you can also have people’s blessing,” he said.
Referring to Maharashtra, the Union Minister, who was here to participate in a function, told reporters that Shiv Sena should “understand the people’s mandate and support the government, and I hope they will do it.”
On NCP support, he said BJP did not seek it and stressed that when it was “offered voluntarily” the party cannot say “no” as it did not believe “in politics of untouchability.”