Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, lecturing him for using unparliamentary languages against Akali leaders. He was referring to Kejriwal’s warning that his government will send several ‘corrupt’ Akali leaders to jail in the event that his Aam Aadmi Party forms the government in Punjab,
Addressing a rally in Punjab’s Faridkot district, Modi said that he was hurt by the personal attack against Prakash Singh Badal adding that the incumbent chief minister of Punjab was among those leaders who had never uttered hurtful statements for others.
“How can you expect those who are used to hurling insults on everyone, those who betrayed Anna Hazare to use parliamentary language (for Punjab CM.) We also fought against Congress, but we always said that we will investigate guilty people and ensure that law takes the guilty to task. We never said that we will send this person to jail and that person to jail…
“He (Kejriwal) wanted to send Sheila Dikshit to jail, but Sheila Dikshit is now the chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh… To say that we will send that person to jail is the language of a dictator. Does democracy function like this? We may have differences but we must never forget morality in politics. Politics without morality will be dangerous for the country.”
Modi, however, did not clarify that Dikshit had long been withdrawn as the Congress’s CM candidate in Uttar Pradesh. Kejriwal, for his part, has maintained that he would have initiated action against Dikshit had the Modi government not taken the control of the ACM from away from his government in Delhi.
Calling Kejriwal’s party as outsider, Modi hinted that a government by AAP will pose serious security risk to India.
“Punjab shares border with Pakistan. Pakistan is always on the lookout for opportunity to use the land of Punjab to destroy India. So, if there’s an unstable government here, if the government is formed by an outsider, if there’s a government of those wanting to enjoy power, then not only will it result in losses for people of Punjab, but the entire India will have to go through a period of deep crisis.”
Modi also took a swipe at AAP for accusing him of running the Election Commission.
“I went to Goa…When somebody comes to know that they are facing defeat (Goa polls) then they start creating a situation, find ways to wriggle out of the situation. What they promised in Goa, they gave interviews to newspapers, saying that Modi was calling the shots and running the EC,” he said.
He said nobody should point fingers at the EC.
“But (for them) the EC is useless. What is the fault of EC? Its fault is why it decided the same date for polling in Punjab and Goa.
“Their second grudge was why polls are being held first in Punjab and Goa, and third was that the elections are being conducted simultaneously so that their political party is defeated,” he said.
Modi’s lecture on morality and use of unparliamentary language in politics for political opponents assumes significance particularly in light of his own record of hurling insults on his political opponents with similar words.
During Delhi election campaign, Modi had called the AAP convener an anarchist (dharna karne waale). He had caused humiliation for the senior Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor, by calling his late wife, Sunanda Pushkar ‘Rs 50 crore girlfriend. More recently, while campaigning in Bihar elections, Modi had questioned the DNA of Chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Modi has so far avoided launching direct attack against his old rival Kejriwal. Today’s attack is being seen as his nervousness on a potential victory for AAP in Punjab. A win by Kejriwal’s party in Punjab is bound to significantly impact the political dynamics of Delhi, where Modi has been accused of using police and other government machinery to harass Kejriwal and his colleagues.
(With additional inputs from PTI)