Sonia Gandhi's speech in Amethi asking people to ensure Rahul Gandhi's victory invited barbs from Narendra Modi today who wondered how the Congress vice president could lead the country when he could not handle his constituency.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate kept up his sharp attacks on the first family of the ruling party as he referred to a "whopping rise" in the assets of Rahul's brother- in-law, Robert Vadra, and termed it the model of "ma-bete ki sarkar" (mother-son's government).
"Sonia told the people in Amethi to take care of her son. We are told that he will take care of the country. Tell me, is there any logic in this? One who is begging with the people in Amethi to take care of her son...If he can't handle Amethi, then how can he handle the country?," he said at a rally here.
Sonia had told a rally in Amethi yesterday that the people should support the policies of the Congress and ensure the victory of Rahul.
"I have handed over Rahul to you in 2004 following the tradition of Indira Gandhi, who had handed over her son Rajiv Gandhi to you," she had said.
Criticised by the Gandhis for selling people dreams and giving an impression that he had a magic wand to turn around the fortunes of the country, Modi tried to turn the tables as he said he often wondered who they were referring to as they had never named anyone.
He then cited a recent report in a US newspaper on Vadra's fortunes and said sarcastically that he finally realised who the Gandhis spoke of, after reading the story.
"They spoke about a Class X pass youth who had only Rs 1 lakh in pocket and then went on to own Rs 300 crore in three years. This is the mother-son's model. You heard about 2G, now hear about jijaji (brother-in-law). Do we have to leave this country in their hands?," he said.
Accusing Rahul of misleading the country on the issue of women's safety, he said that seven of the top 10 states in terms of crimes against women were ruled by the Congress. "I think the new slogan of Congress is 'har haath loot har bol jhoot' (Loot with every hand, all words are lies)."
Modi also took a dig at the comments made by PM's communications adviser Pankaj Pachauri in a recent media interaction.
"For the first time the PMO had to do a press conference to say what, that the PM spoke 1100 times in 10 years," he said.
He said the PM's "performance" is that he spoke 1100 times in 10 years.
Referring to former media adviser to the PM, Sanjay Baru's book, he said it revealed that it was not Manmohan Singh but "ma-bete (Sonia-Rahul)" who were running the government.
He said Singh was always criticised for all the bad things which happened in his government but now a former PMO official has disclosed that the real power was in the hands of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.
Modi attacked Rahul for raising the issue of safety of women in his speeches, but overlooking increasing cases of crime against women in Delhi.
"During his visit to several parts of the country and even Chhattisgarh, Rahul talked about women's safety. If we switch on the television, we watch news of rape in Delhi. Dear Rahul, you are in Delhi. Your government is in Delhi. What is your government in Delhi doing? Why are rape cases being reported. What your government is doing," Modi said.
He said that according to the Government's report on crime against women, out of the top ten states with the highest number of crimes against women, seven belong to Congress and the rest of the three state belongs to Congress allies.
None of the top ten states with highest crime rates against women are BJP-ruled states, he said.
"Dear Rahul, for how long will you keep telling lies? The height of shamelessness is that although they failed to spend even one rupee during the last one year, once again they allocated Rs 100 crore fund for the Nirbhaya Fund in this interim budget. Rahul speaks as if he has nothing to do with the running of the government in Delhi. He talks as if he has come from the moon," he said.
Referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, he said, "Have you seen a magician in this country who can change fortunes overnight? Yesterday, I got to know about this magician through an American newspaper. A tenth pass youth who had 1 lakh in his pocket converted it to Rs 300 crore in three years. Can you do it? It's the magic of 'mother and son'. We had heard about 2G. Now we hear of Jijaji," he said.
"The Congress should introspect about why the people of Chhattisgarh hate the party," he said, adding that usually people forgive governments after five years, but Chhattisgarh has rejected the Congress for 15 consecutive years.
Meanwhile, addressing a rally in Bhilai later, Modi said, "Ma-bete ki sarkar is trying to prevent him from coming to power. They cannot tolerate a chaiwala, who has come up with his hard labour and dedication challenging their authority. They have exploited the nation in the name of poor and poverty."
Referring to Rahul Gandhi's visits to the houses of poor, Modi said, "For them, poverty is a tourist destination and a tourism. The way people visit the Taj Mahal and take photographs, similarly he visits the houses of the poor and click photographs. Rahul is taking camera crews with him to see poverty, as he hasn't seen it before."
Mocking Sonia Gandhi's recent address in Amethi where she appealed to the voters to take care of his son, Modi said, "How can he (Rahul) think of taking care of the nation when his mother wants people to look after him."
The Gujarat Chief Minister also promised that black money stashed away in foreign banks would be brought back to India once NDA is voted to power.
Modi was in Bhilai to campaign for veteran BJP leader and sitting MP Saroj Pandey, who is contesting the election from her home constituency- Durg.
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