BJP's Narendra Modi invokes Facebook arrests to counter PM

FP

Narendra Modi on Sunday used the Facebook-related arrests in Maharashtra to reply to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement about minorities being insecure in Gujarat.

"In Maharashtra, where your Congress is in power, they arrested a girl named Shaheen Dhadha for her Facebook comment about late Bal Thackeray," the Gujarat chief minister said at a public meeting in Surat. "...After coming out of jail she gave a statement that 'my family will not stay in Maharashtra and we will shift to Gujarat as it is safe there'."

He drew a comparison with Assam too: "The prime minister gets elected from Assam and the Congress is in power there. Six months ago, communal riots broke out there... Minorities are not safe in your Assam; you defame Gujarat."

At a rally in Pavi Jetpur in Vadodara, Modi mocked Ahmed Patel and Sonia Gandhi. Modi had earlier described Patel as "Ahmedmian"; the latter then hit back to say Gujarat "does not need a sultan". On Sunday, Modi said, "Ahmedmian, alias Ahmedbhai, alias Babubhai — you have so many aliases — the fact that you used the word is understandable, given that a sultan is born in a dynasty. The daughter of a prime minister becomes the next prime minister, then his son succeeds her... you have spent your life serving the sultan, which is why you cannot think of any word other than 'sultan'."

About Sonia, he said, "Soniaben said Gujarat has not developed. Soniaben, you come to Pavi Jetpur... Go ask people in tribal areas if they have electricity in their houses. In our Gujarat, tribal houses have 24 hours power supply. Even in Delhi, in your house, you have to keep a generator. Even the prime minister's residence has to use a generator," he said.

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