The BJP on Thursday hit back at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for being critical of the ruling party's "double engine" model of governance and challenged him to show courage to seek votes on Congress's model of governance.
Talking to ANI, BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said that the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra has changed the grammar of politics through his development-oriented policies and suggested the former Prime Minister to visit various places in the state to witness the change.
"I would advise the Congress and its leaders to minutely study the development that has happened in Maharashtra. Fadnavis, his leadership and his style of working, has practically changed the grammar of politics in Maharashtra," Mr Sahasrabuddhe said.
He said that politics in Maharashtra is no more only around caste and community considerations, and asserted that politics of development has taken the centre stage due to the efforts of BJP.
"Maharashtra is now on the path of development and we are talking about politics of performance. We are seeking people's support on the basis of what we have done," Mr Sahasrabuddhe said.
The Rajya Sabha MP, who belongs to Maharashtra, asked the Congress leadership to show courage to seek votes on their model of governance.
"Former Chief Ministers belonging to Congress, be it Sushil Kumar Shinde or Ashok Chavan. Do they have the courage to say people should vote for them on the basis of their performance?" he asked, adding, "they don't have the courage to do so."
Mr Sahasrabuddhe suggested that Congress should first introspect its own model of governance which has witnessed large scale corruption and then talk about what BJP was doing.
Reacting to Mr Singh's statement that Maharashtra was the worst affected due to economic slowdown, Mr Sahasrabuddhe said the former Prime Minister was not aware of the development work done by the Fadnavis government.
"Maharashtra has been attracting huge foreign investment. Perhaps, Manmohan Singh is not aware of all the efforts that the government has put in. He has not visited Maharashtra for a long time. I would suggest if he visits various townships of the state, he would appreciate the kind of facilities the state government is providing," he claimed.
The senior BJP leader, who is also the president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), slammed the opposition leaders for criticising BJP's demand of conferring Bharat Ratna to Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
"Manmohan Singh has said that Savarkar's patriotism and his service to the nation has been duly recognised by even former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Now those calling him names, should first look into the history of their own government and how Mrs Gandhi was appreciative of Savarkar's efforts," he said.
"What is wrong in the idea of Hindu or Hindutva? We are a country known for spiritual democracy that is the other name of Hindutva. Is Manmohan Singh against it?" Mr Sahasrabuddhe asked.
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