Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known for displaying dual personality traits with immense precision. While on his frequent foreign tours, he’s seen seeking to impress the global powers with his desperately projected ‘statesman-like’ approach. However, when on home soil, he’s either seen extending tacit support to venomous Hindutva ideology or attacking his political opponents using abhorring language.
The prime minister earned plenty of condemnation for resorting to half-truths while campaigning for his party in the last year’s Gujarat assembly polls. He had astonishingly alleged that Pakistan was helping the Congress in the elections. This was understandably to polarise the crucial Hindu votes in favour of the BJP, which was facing a huge anti-incumbency in Modi’s home state.
Social media users had called him a ‘pathetic prime minister.’ His own cabinet colleague and finance minister, Arun Jaitley, had to later eat humble pie inside the parliament by contradicting the prime minister.
On Sunday, Modi was in Puducherry to address a rally. Addressing the crowd, Modi once again targetted the Congress for what he termed was the lack of development in India during its 58 years of rule. He asked the crowd to compare the 48 years of rule by one family (Nehru-Gandhi) to the 48 months of the BJP government led by him. This was the first time Modi was not blaming the Congress for 70 years of governance. Modi also forgot to add the five years of Congress government led by Narasimha Rao between 1991 and 1996.
He said, “Our first prime minister had ruled the nation for 17 years. His daughter then governed for 14 years followed by her son who governed for five years. In the last 10 years, from 2004-14, you saw how this one family governed the nation through remote control.” By Modi’s own calculation, the number of years that the Nhru-Gandhi family were in government comes to 46 years and not 48 as claimed by the prime minister.
He then launched a personal attack against the Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy while mockingly adding that soon the Congress will exhibit him as a specimen after June.
“I want to congratulate the Chief Minister of Puducherry because the Congress is going to exhibit him as a specimen after June,” he said. The prime minister was trying to imply that his party will win the Karnataka and Meghalaya polls and the Congress government will be confined to just Puducherry. He did not mention that Punjab too is governed by the Congress’s Captain Amarinder Singh.
Reacting angrily, Narayanasamy told ANI that Modi’s choice words was ‘unfortunate.’ He said, “It is unfortunate that the prime minister, holding the highest position, made such a remark. Congress will win Mizoram, Meghalaya and Karnataka. We are in a winning position in Haryana and Maharashtra as well. The situation is changing today and people want Congress’ government.”
Analysts are puzzled to see Modi indulging in personal jibe against an elected chief minister from a rival party even when there is no election in Puducherry in the foreseeable future.