Congress and NCP as well as NDA ally JD(U) today took potshots at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his strongest indication yet of his prime ministerial ambitions, hoping he will not 're-enact' 2002
post-Godhra riots in other parts of the country.
AICC spokesman Rashid Alvi also appeared to compare Modi with 'yamraj', the Lord of Death in Hindu mythology.
UPA's key outside ally Samajwadi Party too joined in the attack against the BJP strongman, saying there was more publicity and less work done in Gujarat.
All the parties were of the view it doesn't matter which leader said what since the ultimate power lay with the people of the country.
In a sharp reaction, Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari said he was worried about Modi's intentions.
"...I often worry about the statements of the Gujarat Chief Minister. I hope he doesn't want to do in the rest of India what he did in Gujarat in 2002," he said in New Delhi.
JD(U) also mocked at Modi's statement, saying the country can be served even by serving Gujarat and that he has brazenly expressed his prime ministerial ambition.
"The country can be served even by serving Gujarat. Nitish Kumar is serving Bihar. In a way he is also serving the nation," JD-U General Secretary and party spokesman Shivanand Tewari said in Patna.
"Modi is already serving the nation as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. But when some politician says such things, it reflects the latent desire in his heart for the Delhi crown," he added.
"Woh kursi ki akansha rakh rahe hain (he is aspiring to sit on the chair (of prime minister)", Tiwari said, adding that otherwise there was no need for Modi to draw the distinction between service to the state and the country.
Taking a jibe at Modi, senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar said it appeared he was not satisfied with presiding over the Gujarat riots and that he wanted to 're-enact the carnage' in the entire country.
SP leader Naresh Agarwal felt there is more publicity and less work done in Gujarat. "I don't think that a single person can save the country. It's good to dream but public will decide who they want to give the country's leadership to," he added.
Modi while virtually admitting his prime ministerial ambition yesterday said it is the duty of every child to repay the debt he owes to "Mother India".
"Not only Modi, every child and citizen owes a debt to Mother India...It is his duty to repay the debt whenever an opportunity arises....Everybody has to repay this debt...I hope Mother India gives her blessings and nobody goes away without paying this debt," he had said.
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