Senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at the grand old party on Monday and said that the Congress was stunned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity abroad.
Jaitley’s reaction came a day after Congress leader Salman Khurshid suggested that the crowds that gathered at Myanmar for PM Modi had been brought from India.
Writing in his official blog, Jaitley said, “Salman Khurshid has made a fascinating claim. He says that there were no people to meet him when he visited Myanmar and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been exporting groups from India to all foreign destinations wherever he visits. If UPA leaders, during their days in government, left the expatriate Indian population underwhelmed, is it to be presumed that this should be true for others?”
He further wrote, “I can understand the plight of Salman and his party colleagues particularly when Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets a larger crowd in Sydney than what Salman’s leader gets in India.”
Khurshid, former External Affairs Minister, had said that the streets of Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar are generally empty and wondered how a crowd of 20,000 people gathered there.
“I have been to Nay Pyi Taw twice. No one is found on the streets there. Then how come 20,000 people came to listen to him (Modi). He must have taken along many with him,” Khurshid told reporters in Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi is on a three-nation tour that started with Myanmar.
Khurshid also sought to downplay Modi’s Madison Square Garden event of September, saying, “In USA, organising 20,000 people and making them shouting slogans is not a big deal. If he can influence the people there then I think that would be right.”
On celebrations regarding India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Jaitley wrote the following: “On the 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress Party has organized an international symposium. Has the guest list been influenced by the current depleting fortunes of the Congress Party? The symposium is being attended by Congress leaders, some international dignitaries besides a few Lohiates and Communists. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia stood for complete negation of Nehruvian politics. He rejected Panditji’s politics during his lifetime. The Left’s anger against Panditji was further fuelled by the invocation of Article 356 to dislodge the first ever democratically elected Communist Government led by Shri E.M.S. Namboodripad in Kerala. Those who rejected Panditji’s politics in his lifetime, are a part of the “show of strength” at this symposium. The symposium is being attended by some who rejected Nehruvian politics during Panditji’s lifetime and others whom Panditji may have ideologically disinherited.”