“Burqa of secularism” better than “naked communalism”, Cong on Modi taunt

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s “burqa (veil) of secularism” remark targeting the Congress on Monday drew a stinging response from the ruling party which said it was much better than “naked communalism.”

The Congress also sought to puncture the claim of BJP’s election campaign chief on the issue of development in Gujarat, saying the state during Modi’s tenure lagged behind on several development indicators.

“We will have to respond if the chairman of the campaign committee of the BJP resorts to disinformation campaign and makes factually incorrect statements,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ajay Maken said, a day after Modi came down heavily on the Congress and the central government on various issues including the state of economy, development and corruption.

“The burqa of secularism is much better than naked communalism. While communalism divides, secularism binds,” Maken said.

Modi had on Sunday charged Congress with wearing the “burqa (veil) of secularism” and “hiding in a bunker” each time it is confronted with a crisis.

Accusing Modi of presenting “erroneous” and “false” figures, Maken said that a person, who has “not been able to serve his own people properly” and “failed” in his own state has no business telling the whole country what to do.

Drawing parallels from the achievements in Gujarat during Modi’s tenure and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule at the Centre, Maken said the performance of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was much better in all fields including GDP growth, tourism and education.

“I want to ask him what did he do in Gujarat that he keeps touring the whole country trying to give lessons to youths,” Maken said, adding that only a handful from Gujarat won medals in Olympic and very tourists visited the state in ten years since Modi was chief minister.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said the choice before people was an inclusive India or an India which is sectarian.

“The vision of the Congress party is pluralistic and inclusive. And the vision of the section of the opposition has been sectarian, majoritarian and communal right from the beginning,” Tewari said.

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