Chandigarh: Hitting out at Narendra Modi over his campaign speeches, Congress today alleged that he had “lied” about Haryana lagging behind Gujarat in development and said he was not speaking like a Prime Minister but a small-time politician.
“Prime Minister is a habitual liar. From the kind of statements he has been giving, he has lowered the dignity of the high post he is occupying,” Congress General Secretary and Haryana affairs in-charge Shakeel Ahmed said at a news conference here.
“In a country like India, the person who is holding such high post, whether he may be giving election speeches, speaking in Parliament or speaking at international fora, he remains a PM of the world's largest democracy,” he said.
Replying to queries on Robert Vadra's land deals, he said the issue was raked up by rival parties only when polls were near and asserted that Vadra was a private citizen who had every right to do any legitimate business he wants.
Questioning PM's statements on ceasefire and that Haryana was lagging behind in development, Ahmed said they he was speaking like any small-time politician.
He said that just two days back, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan had been given a stern warning and won't dare to repeat the ceasefire violations again.
“But what happened. Within 24 hours, Pakistan again violated ceasefire. Just think the kind of message it sends across at international level. What would other nations think about our PM,” he said.
He said that during the Lok Sabha polls, Modi, who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, used to say that to deal with Chinese incursions and ceasefire violations of Pakistan, “one needs to have a 56-inch chest, I ask him today whether his chest has become 5.6 inch now”.
He said that Haryana is far ahead than Gujarat in all fields, but here also the Prime Minister “has been telling a lie”.
“The PM said that Haryana stands at number eighth position in per capita income, it seems he failed to understand difference between serial number and rating.”
“In Gujarat, per capita income is Rs 94,000 per annum as against Haryana's Rs 1.35 lakh. PM is trying to befool the people of Haryana. In terms of skill development, Haryana is at number one position and Gujarat is at 9th position. Does Narendra Modi want to take Haryana the Gujarat's way,” he asked.
In terms of illiteracy eradication, Haryana stands at number 22nd position while Gujarat is at 26th position, Ahmed pointed out.
When asked that Modi's US visit, Ahmed said that if the Prime Minister gets honour abroad, then every citizen should be happy, but quicky added that “diplomacy should not be converted into event management”.
“I want to tell you that in 1949, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, the country's first Prime Minister, went to Washington. The then US President Truman along with top leaders of his government were present at the airport to welcome him.
“What treatment was given to our leaders recently, I won't comment on that. But I will say that event management and diplomacy are two different things. Diplomacy should not be converted into event management. People will come to know that diplomacy is not event management,” he said.
Ahmed alleged the Modi government was trying to weaken many flagship schemes of the previous UPA regime and also trying to rechristen some of their old schemes.
Ahmed said that Congress will return to power for third time in a row in Haryana on the basis of development works it has carried out.
Slamming former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, he said he has been misleading people that he had to go to jail because he gave jobs to 3,200 teachers.
“But everyone knows that irregularities were committed (in teachers recruitment),” he said.
He also asked the people to be wary of both the BJP and the Chautala-led INLD, as they will not hesitate to once again shake hands on sensing the slightest opportunity to “grab power”.
Asked if Congress would be ready to enter into a post-poll alliance if the party falls short of majority in the 90-member assembly, he said, “We will form government on our own, we have estimated to get around 50 seats”.
When asked why former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not come to Haryana for campaigning, Ahmed said that he was on the party's star campaigner list and may be that he was preoccupied with some things.
“Only his office (Manmohan's) will be able to throw light about his engagements,” he said.
Asked about desertion of Birender Singh, a senior leader of ongress who joined the BJP fold recently, he said even if ordinary party worker leaves, no one likes it.
He, however, said that the prominent Jat leader had been given his due within the party, but he turned out to be an opportunist.
“In 2009, he lost the assembly polls from Uchana. After his defeat, the party made him a Rajya Sabha MP, General Secretary and CWC member.
“When Congress lost Lok Sabha polls, within three months he left us to join that outfit (BJP), whose policies and programmes he had been opposing. He remained in the Congress for 45 years, but today he is forced to praise them (BJP),” he said.