On Gujarat and Narendra Modi, mixing up numbers, slipping on facts

Nov 09 2013, 20:30 IST
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SummaryThe people of India face a choice between the Congress and the BJP.

I was more amused than concerned after reading Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma’s interview in The Indian Express (‘BJP trying to set up a “battle between two leaders”, says Anand Sharma’, November 5), where he dished out half-truths in an attempt to buttress the Congress’ flimsy criticism of the BJP and Narendra Modi. Surely, Sharma is entitled to his opinions, but not to his own set of facts.

Sharma attacks Modi over an “obsession with the presidential system” of the US and as someone with “an authoritarian bent of mind” whose “intolerance is reflected in his political conduct”. This statement from a Congressman, whose senior leaders proudly participate in exhibitions of cringe-worthy servility and breach every limit of sycophancy, makes me laugh. Even the prime minister displays obsequiousness and seeks to work under the inexperienced

43-year-old shehezada! The Congress’s Chhattisgarh chief is ready to pick up a broom and sweep the floor for Sonia Gandhi. Contrast this with Modi, who is among the most accessible chief ministers, who takes questions from the media and even junior party-workers, and is always willing to listen to an alternative point of view. Can Sharma express his dissent in the Congress’s internal forums against any decision of his party leaders? Is it because of their “intolerance”? Can Sharma also tell us why his leaders refuse to face the media?

The BJP is the only party where even a tea-vendor serving in railway coaches and platforms can get to the top riding on years of hard work, demonstrated performance and an openness to new ideas. This bottoms-up democratic and meritocratic system within the BJP is the true alternative to the feudal, family-based set-up of other political parties. For the others, it is a family proprietorship; for us, it

is a cooperative.

Sharma’s perverse delight in Modi supposedly being denied a visa is hard to conceal. Here is a Union minister who would rather go by the whims of a foreign country than by the repeated judgments of our own Supreme Court. That a foreign country has the gall to talk about denying a visa to a constitutionally elected chief minister is a reflection of the UPA’s failed foreign policy. Sharma, surprisingly, seems proud of this. I would like to know what the UPA’s official stand on this is.

Sharma repeatedly errs on facts. Perhaps he is trying to emulate his leader Rahul Gandhi, who recently said that

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