Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh: Narendra Modi today derided Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President, for alleging that an intelligence officer has told him that young Muslim men whose families were affected in the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar are in touch with Pakistani agencies, including the ISI, who want to recruit them to work against India.
“Who is this shehzada (prince)? Why are intelligence officers briefing him?” Mr Modi asked at an election rally in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr Gandhi’s comment, made at a rally in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, has provoked a barrage of criticism, with the BJP accusing him of questioning the patriotism of Indian Muslims.
The Congress leader has been accusing the BJP of instigating September’s communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Western Uttar Pradesh in which nearly 50 people were killed.
Mr Modi returned fire today. He made an offer to the people of Uttar Pradesh. “You gave the Congress 60 years, try us for just 60 months,” said the BJP’s candidate for prime minister.
Mr Modi said that India’s most populous state has been destroyed by the “trinity of SABKA” -an acronym he coined for the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, and the Congress.
Mr Modi, 63, who is serving his fourth term as chief minister of Gujarat, said that the Congress had ruined Uttar Pradesh with corruption, while the Samajwadi Party is crippled with dynastic politics, and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party is mired in the cult of her personality.