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BJP can be defeated, not Hindutva: Modi

BJP can be defeated, not Hindutva: Modi

Author: PTI
Publication: The Times of India
Date: January 12, 2003
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/articleshow?artid=34197984

Carrying forward his Hindutva poll plank in neighbouring Maharashtra which goes to assembly poll next year, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday equated the concept with nationhood and lashed out at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her attack on Hindutva forces.

Addressing a rally organised by state BJP at Shivaji Park in the bastion of its saffron ally Shiv Sena, he said "those opposing Hindutva are opposing the country's progress".

Modi, architect of BJP's victory in Gujarat poll, said Hindutva should not be linked with BJP alone. "You can defeat BJP but you cannot defeat Hindutva."

Describing Hindutva as an "immortal way of life", he said "Hindutva had survived despite onslaught from every nook and corner in the world for thousands of years."

"The BJP's landslide victory in Gujarat could not be termed as Hindutva's victory," he said in his 50-minute speech interspersed with sharp attacks on Gandhi and his favourite "Miya Musharraff"-bashing.

Coming down heavily on the Congress President for her remarks that Hindutva forces would destroy the country, Modi retorted "hum kya Italy ke beti se hindutva sikhenge?" (should we learn Hindutva from the daughter of Italy).

Rejecting that Hindutva was against country's unity, development and women, he said India's problems, including population explosion and AIDS, began after Indians deviated from the path of Hindutva.

Referring to "Miya Musharraf" in the same breath, he said "you must understand the semi-terrorism unleashed in India by him" (the Pakistani President).

"Incidents like the Ghatkopar bomb blast, fake currency, providing narcotics to Indian youths are different forms of semi-terrorism," Modi said, adding only a broad concept of Hindutva could give a befitting reply to these activities.

He said Congress was full of "negativism" and lacked a democratic set-up.

Flaying Congress for forgetting Sardar Ballabhbhai Patel, he accused it of humilating the Iron Man of India.

"Patel was given Bharat Ratna nine years after Rajiv Gandhi and not a single member of Nehru family has visited his birth place so far," the BJP leader said.

Demanding an explanation from Congress for insulting Sardar Patel, Modi said "I will ensure that atleast one person of the Nehru family pays obeisance at Patel's birth place."

He hit out at the Congress for protecting the Godhra accused. He claimed the party had requested him not to speak on Godhra. "I wonder what the Congress has to hide," the BJP leader queried.

Claiming that "Vasudevkutumbhkam" was way ahead of globalisation, he cited the case of Lord Ganesh as an example of the first cosmetic surgery and the birth of Karna as genetic engineering.

Referring to campaigning by Congress chief ministers during the Gujarat election, Modi said he would now visit each and every Congress-ruled state to enquire about their "well being" as he presumed that the stunning defeat of Congress in the polls might have affected their health.

"Aaj me Vilasrao ki tabiyat puchne aaya hoon" (today I have come to enquire about Vilasrao Deshmukh's health), he said.

Referring to RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav's threat in the run up to Gujarat election that Modi would be booked under POTA if he entered Bihar, the Gujarat Chief Minister said it was surprising that Bihar government was bent on booking him rather than the terrorists under POTA.

"I am coming to Patna," he added.

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