Bhuj: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at a college in the Kutch desert an hour after the Prime Minister made his Independence Day address from the Red Fort in Delhi, picked holes in Dr Manmohan Singh's words. Mr Modi threw down the gauntlet and took digs at the PM and the Congress party.
Here are the 10 things Mr Modi attacked the PM on:
- Development: The Gujarat Chief Minister challenged the Prime Minister to a debate. "Come let us have a competition on development between Gujarat and Delhi. Our shortcomings will come forward and so will your good deeds." (Highlights)
- Pakistan:Narendra Modi pointed out that the President in his address to the nation on the eve of Independence day had sent a strong message to Pakistan asking them not to "test the limits of India's patience". But, Mr Modi observed, the PM did nothing to assuage the President's concerns. "Today we never got to hear anything from the Prime Minister about this (the attack along the LoC). I don't believe that the Red Fort is a place to target Pakistan but it is a place where we can boost the morale of our troops." (Read)
- Significance of Bhuj: "I am standing here in Kutch from where my voice reaches Pakistan first and Delhi later." (Watch)
- Dynastic politics: Mr Modi questioned why the Prime Minister mentioned only the Nehru-Gandhi family during his speech. "In your speech from the Red Fort, Mr PM you remembered only one family. Wouldn't it have been befitting to remember freedom fighters like Sardar Patel or Lal Bahadur Shastri?"
- Congress rule at the Centre: "The PM in his speech mentioned the same problems that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru mentioned in 1947. So what have they been doing for all these years?"
- Online trolls: In typical fashion and to loud cheers, the Gujarat Chief Minister quipped, "Mr Prime Minister, your brigade is busy targeting Modi on their computers. Don't they have a world beyond Modi? On Independence Day, they could've at least sung the national anthem."
- Corruption: Hinting at the recent charges levelled against Railway Minister Pawan Bansal and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, Mr Modi said, "Pehle maama-bhaanje ke serial aate they, aab saas, bahu aur damaad ke serials bhi aane lage hai (Earlier soaps involved uncle and nephew but now they involve mother-in-law, daughter-in-law and son-in-law)"
- Food Security Bill: "There are many shortcomings that I've highlighted but the PM won't discuss. People in Delhi are putting salt on plates of poor, someone claims you can get a meal for Rs 5, another says Rs 10. Garibon ki thaali mein sarkaar acid chhirak rahi hai.(This government is spraying acid on the plates of the poor.)"
- PM's "miles to go" comment: Mr Modi took a dig at the UPA's 10-year regime and said, "TV channels, the media say this is PM Manmohan Singh's last speech from Red Fort. He says he has miles to go. Which rocket does he intend to take to cover these miles?"
- On Independence: "The country has become independent but have we achieved what our freedom fighters fought for? There is need for independent thought. We need to learn how we can free ourselves from a slavish mentality."