New Delhi, Sep 29 IANS | 2 years ago

The Congress Sunday accused Narendra Modi of "insulting" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that the BJP leader had chosen to believe a Pakistan journalist about purported remarks of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about his Indian counterpart.

Describing Modi as "a self-proclaimed nationalist", Congress communication department chairman Ajay Maken said Modi had "quoted the story" of Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in his public rally here Sunday, but said it was surprising that he did not ask the Indian journalist about Sharif's remarks.

"Modi had chosen to believe the words of a Pakistani journalist Hameed Mir over contrarian assertions of a senior Indian journalist, who on record says that no reference was made to a 'dehati Aurat' (rural woman) vis-a-vis the prime minister.

"It is clear that Narendra Modi did so solely with an aim to spread calumny against the prime minister... it was Modi who had publicly humiliated the prime minister on the basis of cooked up information," Maken said in a statement.

Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, said at a rally here that Sharif had described Manmohan Singh as a "dehati aurat" during a meeting in New York with Indian and Pakistani journalists.

Modi also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of insulting Manmohan Singh by ridiculing a government-backed ordinance on convicted lawmakers.

Maken said in the statement that Modi's remarks had shown the prime minister in poor light, even as he was travelling abroad as the nation's representative at the United Nations.

"He (Maken) stressed that Hamid Mir was known for his dubious reports during Kargil war and Modi reposing such trust in him only betrayed his fake nationalist stand. In doing so, Modi had brought in front of the nation a false proposition/statement that deliberately hurt India's national interest."

"This deliberate act of furthering the false propaganda of a section of Pakistani press in a rally spoke volumes about Modi's devious role in characteristically misleading the people," the statement said.

Rebutting Modi's charges on the issue of corruption, Maken said the Gujarat chief minister "had used every trick in the trade to stall and circumvent the establishment of Lokayutka in Gujarat".

"Modi should also explain the source of his campaign funding - that included huge expenditures running into hundreds of crores of rupees for helicopters, electronic gizmos and paid crowds," he demanded.

He said a minister in Modi's cabinet had been convicted on charges of corruption and 26 police officers, including nine IPS officers, were in jail for human rights violation.

Congress leader Rashid Alvi also slammed Modi's remarks and said Gandhi did not insult Manmohan Singh when he spoke against a proposed ordinance aimed at shielding convicted lawmakers which had been approved by the union cabinet.

(Posted on 29-09-2013)