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Cong mocks BJP ‘phobia’

New Delhi, Aug. 9: The Congress today mocked the new BJP leadership for its “obsession” with its idea of a “Congress-mukt Bharat” (India without Congress) and said they appeared to have forgotten that they were in government now.

“Elections are over and the BJP should not forget they are the ruling party now. They should work to free India of communal passions, inflation and poverty. People of India voted for them on these issues. They should now stop fooling people with their anti-Congress rhetoric,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

Referring to the speeches at the BJP national council meeting today, Maken said: “One after another, their speeches spoke of the Congress and nothing else. They appear to have been afflicted by severe Congress phobia…. Their fear of the Congress is such that they seem to have forgotten they are now the ruling party.”

Recalling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah often speak of a Congress-mukt Bharat, Maken wondered why the BJP leadership had not made their own thought processes Congress-free. They should have told the nation what they have done in their 75 days in power, he said.

Former commerce minister Anand Sharma accused Modi of misleading the nation on the WTO negotiations. “The statements that Modi has made are confirming the worst apprehensions of a partisan political agenda to mislead and misinform the public opinion. His claims that the UPA government had given up on the rights of food security in WTO is astonishing and utterly false,” Sharma said.

At the BJP national council meet, Modi had targeted the Congress saying that “those who sought votes in the name of food security, signed the agreement sacrificing the interest of poor people”.

Sharma said: “The Prime Minister of India is expected to be well-informed and literate about the position taken by India in multinational forums and the WTO. The Prime Minister has either been misinformed or has chosen to make a statement that is factually incorrect and false deliberately. It is embarrassing that the Prime Minister is confusing the right of public stockholding issue with sovereign right of food security. Food security is a sovereign right and a sovereign space and has never been a part of WTO agenda.”

Congress leaders also lined up to defend Rahul Gandhi’s assertion yesterday that riots were being engineered in Uttar Pradesh for political gain, after the BJP slammed him. General secretary Digvijaya Singh said Rahul was “spot on”, with general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, former minister Manish Tewari and former state unit chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi echoing him.