On a day when BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi pulled off a startling crowd-show at Varanasi in UP, where he went to file his nomination, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh brushed aside the idea of a “Modi wave” in the country.
The PM, after casting his vote, along with his wife in Dispur district of Assam said, “I don’t think the country as a whole is struck by any Modi wave. It is a creation of the media.”
But, Modi’s close aide Amit Shah termed the throng at Varanasi a “Tsunami” of support for the BJP PM candidate.
Meanwhile, while Modi was in UP, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was campaigning in his home turf. Speaking at Valsad in Gujarat she called Modi an ideological “hardliner”, who has not done enough to prevent corruption in his own state.
“I want to know why the Gujarat Government took 10 years to appoint a Lokayukta here?
“The BJP claims that if it is elected, heaven will come down on Earth. The truth is Gujarat is burdened with Rs 1,75,000 crore debt,” she said.
She also took a dig at Gujarat’s social indicators. “The state has the highest school drop-out rate in the country and does not consider a family poor unless its income is less than `11 a month and one in every two children in Gujarat is malnourished,” Sonia said.
Mounting another attack on Modi from Hargaon, Uttar Pradesh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi raked up the Snoopgate controversy, like his sister Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul said, those who were concerned about women’s right or empowerment would not tap their phones.
Rahul also brought up the issue of farmers’ land being given over to industrialists in Gujarat at dirt cheap rates. He said in some cases no industry had come up in the compromised farm land.