Modi attacks Congress over CBI 'misuse'

Bhopal, Sep 25 (IANS) BJP veteran L.K. Advani Wednesday shared the dais with Narendra Modi at a rally here in a show of party unity ahead of crucial assembly polls as the Gujarat chief minister lambasted Congress saying it had lost the capacity to fight BJP and the coming electoral battles will be fought by the "CBI and not Congress".

Addressing a massive "Karyakarta Mahakumbh" (party workers' mega conclave) here, Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate, called upon party workers to rid the country of the Congress.

Modi claimed there was a wave in favour of the BJP across the country and said that "a Congress-free India" will fulfill "Mahatma Gandhi's desire of disbanding the Congress".

Advani and Modi shared a public platform for the first time since the latter was declared the party's prime ministerial candidate earlier this month but the exchange of greetings lacked warmth.

Chouhan bowed to touch Advani's feet and the BJP leader seemed to acknowledge the gesture. Modi, too, followed suit but Advani merely folded his hands without looking at him.

In his speech, Advani made a mention of Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate and noted party's rise could be attributed to hard work of party workers.

He praised work done by Modi, Chouhan and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.

Party chief Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti attended.

"The Congress is not going to put up its candidates. It is not the Congress but CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) which will fight the polls. The Congress does not have the capacity to fight BJP. They have fielded CBI. It (Congress) should hear clearly how it had been paid back by people for atrocities of the emergency," he said.

"If CBI is to come to its use, then Congress rulers should know that people will not forgive them," Modi added.

BJP has often accused the Congress of misusing CBI for its political ends. Modi's close aide Amit Shah is expected to be quizzed by CBI in the Ishrat Jahan alleged staged shootout case. The Modi government has been facing the heat over alleged staged shootout case deaths in the state with suspended police officer D.G. Vanzara alleging in a letter that the chief minister and Amit Shah were also to blame for the incidents.

Modi referred to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government as "sultanate" (lands ruled by a sultan) and "Delhi ke shahanshah (rulers of Delhi)" in his nearly 35-minute speech.

The workers conclave was organised on the birth anniversary of party ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay and is being seen as a show of strength by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. The BJP is seeking a third successive term in the assembly elections to be held later this year.

Modi praised Chouhan and said the state chief minister deserved credit for "forcing" Congress to talk of inclusive growth.

Attacking the Congress over corruption, he said if "numeral one is put in Bhopal, the number of zeros (for the money involved in graft) will go upto Janpath (the road with residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi)."

He said, "You (people) have faced difficulties but do you want your children are forced to live in poverty, illiteracy, shortage of medicine?"

Chouhan alleged Congress had completed A to Z of corruption. "A for Adarsh scam...Z for Zamin (land) scam," he said.

Rajnath Singh accused the Congress of resorting to lies to embroil Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the 2007 Ajmer blasts case.

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