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Storming the capital with a whirlwind campaign, Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked PM Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram, saying they have ruined the country with their “bookish knowledge”.
Addressing a series of election rallies in New Delhi ahead of the December 4 Delhi Assembly polls, Modi said he does not question the knowledge or qualifications of Singh and Chidambaram but with their “intelligence and bookish knowledge, the two leaders have destroyed the country”.
“They (Singh and Chidambaram) say we don't want to learn economics from Modi, but you should have at least learnt from Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Then you would have understood how to run the country. Both were not considered as economists, but the two great leaders were aware of country's problems,” Modi said.
Sparring between Modi and Chidambaram has been on for sometime. Modi had alleged at a rally in Jodhpur on Friday that Chidambaram feels buying gold causes inflation. The finance minister responded by saying that BJP's prime ministerial candidate is giving his “first lesson in economy” and rejected his contention.
An undeterred Modi continued the onslaught on Chidambaram and Singh at his rallies in Delhi. Taking a dig at the top leadership of the Congress, he said: “Our PM is a big economist. We never questioned that. Finance mi-nister is also very educated. We never challenged that.”
“A top-ranking minister in the central government, who considers himself to be all-intelligent, thinks he has got all the brains in the world and that the others are brainless... The same minister said prices are rising because poor, who were earlier only eating dry breads, are now eating two vegetables. Tell me, are prices rising due to this?” he asked.
Later, Modi took a jibe at Chidambaram on his Twitter handle, saying, “Economy is in trouble, youth want jobs. Devote more time to economics not petty politics. Chidambaramji, please focus on the job at hand!”
At his poll rallies in Shahdara, Sultanpuri and Chandni Chowk in New Delhi, Modi said in its attempt to target him, it has become a habit for Congress to pose questions to Gujarat on every issue.
“Ye fashion ho gaya hai, chunav Delhi aur Rajasthan mein hai, lekin jawab Gujarat ki sarkaar se maang rahe hain. (It's become fashionable, there are elections in Delhi and Rajasthan, but they want Modi to answer questions on Gujarat).”
Obliquely referring to the snooping scandal involving illegal surveillance of a