Congress covering itself with blanket of secularism: BJP

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday accused the Congress of covering itself in a "blanket of secularism" to hide its failures of governance and said it would not allow the electoral debate to be shifted from issues of "price rise and corruption".

The party also accused the Congress of targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and said his presence was making the ruling party insecure.

"Congress wants to milk votes by covering itself in blanket of secularism. The minority community is not going to forgive it," Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said here.

The BJP spokesperson, however, did not use the term used by Modi to attack the Congress and used the word "blanket" instead of "burqa (veil)".

Modi's words during a speech in Pune Sunday that Congress hides in "burqa of secularism" to hide its failures had created a controversy with the Congress attacking him over his choice of words.

Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan had slammed the Gujarat chief minister for making the reference to dress worn by minority community women in his speech.

The Congress had also said that the veil of secularism was "better than naked communalism".

Hussain's choice of words to attack the Congress indicated that the BJP is not likely to use the coinage of Modi.

Hussain said that prices of essential commodities had risen sharply and the value of rupee had fallen steeply against the dollar but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was keeping silence on these issues.

He said the Congress "wants to change the agenda" and take the debate towards communalism and secularism.

"However, the Congress may try to take the debate away from issues of price rise and corruption. The BJP will not allow that to happen. We will mobilise people and not allow the agenda to be changed," Hussain said.

He added that various communities were living in harmony in the country.

Another BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Congress was feeling threatened by Modi.

"Modi's presence in the country is definitely having an impact on the Congress party. They are absolutely restless and possibly they feel that Narendra Modi is now omnipresent, omnipotent," Rudy told Times Now news channel.

He said: "The question which arises here is why are they trying to target Narendra Modi. Are they insecure? Do they feel that things are going out of their hands? Is this man very popular, is this man going to give them a challenge?"

Rudy claimed that people were appreciating the way Modi was conducting himself.

On the recent controversy over BJP poll campaign chief's remarks on Gujarat riots, he said there was nothing wrong in expressing one's emotions.

Parties cutting across political lines had slammed the Gujarat chief minister for his remarks on 2002 Gujarat riots in which he had said he had done "absolutely the right thing" during the 2002 riots and that even if a "puppy comes under the wheel of a car, one felt sad".

"It is a visible distress in the Congress party which is prompting them to make bizarre statements. They are trying to target him. Let them do that," Rudy said.

"I think the defeat is looming large over the Congress party and they are desperate now," he added.

The BJP leader said his party had complete faith in the leadership of Modi, who is "the chairman of the campaign committee and possibly the leader for the future".

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