The Telegraph
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Modi attacks Nehru, Indira to fight Rahul

First published on 30-Nov-2017

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaped from generation to generation to remind Gujarat of the alleged injustice meted out by Rahul Gandhi, his grandmother and great grandfather.

After terming Rahul's demand for a uniform GST rate as a "Grand Stupid Thought", Modi referred to the Congress leader's grandmother Indira Gandhi while addressing a meeting in Morbi in Gujarat.

Recalling the Macchu dam flood tragedy of 1979 in Morbi, Modi said he had spent one month working in the town after the disaster as an RSS and Jan Sangh worker.

"I remember Indira Gandhi had come here and Chitralekha (a magazine) had printed her photo with a handkerchief over her nose, trying to avoid the stench, while another photo on the same front page had RSS workers carrying bodies," he said.

"Those who have helped us in times of difficulties should be remembered," Modi added.

At his next rally in Prachi, Modi went a generation backwards and targeted Jawaharlal Nehru.

He attacked Rahul for visiting the Somnath temple, saying the restoration of the temple was opposed by Nehru.

"If there was no Sardar Patel, the temple in Somnath would not have been possible. Some people are remembering Somnath today and I have to ask them - have you forgotten history? Your parnana (great grandfather), our first Prime Minister, was not happy with the idea of a temple being built there," Modi said. (Nehru had been against using government funds for the reconstruction.)

He said that when Patel invited first President of India Rajendra Prasad to Somnath, Nehru wrote a letter to Patel to express displeasure.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya provided the missing link in the generation chain by referring to Sonia Gandhi. Kicking up a storm over Rahul's religion, Malviya tweeted about archival reports that referred to Sonia Gandhi as a Christian and recalled a controversy associated with the Pashupati Temple in Nepal in 1989. (Rajiv Gandhi had then refused to enter the temple whose officials would not allow Sonia to accompany him.)

Seeking to woo the farmers, who are angry for not getting remunerative price for their produce, Modi said the Congress model of development was "hand pumps" while the BJP built pipelines so huge that Congress leaders can drive their Maruti cars through them.

Coinciding with Modi's rally in Morbi, Patidar leader Hardik Patel addressed a public meeting barely 30km away. "Elect leaders who protest when farmers don't get a good price for groundnut and not the ones who ferry labourers to public meetings of Modi," Hardik told the crowd. "I won't tell you who you should vote for. But don't vote for the BJP."

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