SONEPAT/NEW DELHI: BJP President Amit Shah hit out at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over her "empty vessels" barb directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying she has a "veil over her eyes" and cannot see or hear the cries of the poor who are being harassed by the Congress regime in Haryana.
"I do not know what your (Gandhi's) understanding is. But can you deny that atrocities are being perpetrated on women in Haryana and they are crying? Is it not true that farmers' land is being snatched away and they are crying? "The youth are also crying as they are not getting employment opportunities. Is it not true? Soniaji, I know you cannot see the truth as there is a veil over your eyes," Shah said during a poll rally in Sonepat district of Haryana.
Countering Gandhi over her remarks yesterday, Shah said people shouting loudly give a stronger suggestion of venting their anguish rather than establishing a falsehood.
"You (Gandhi) cannot understand this pain as you don't visit villages, you were not born to the poor and do not visit Dalits. Our prime minister is son of the poor. He has reached where he has after selling tea and well understands the hardships of the poor in villages. Soniaji, God save you and your party if you find all this false," Shah said.
Gandhi had charged during a public meeting in Haryana that the prime minister was "showing off" as if everything has been done only after his government came to power, to which Shah reacted saying that it was difficult to undo the "ill-deeds" committed by Congress over the last 60 years.
Shah further averred that BJP had given the nation a prime minister who speaks.
He said the difference between the previous Congress-led UPA regime and the NDA government in its first 100 days was that, earlier Pakistan began and ended the shelling from across the border, but now it is India which silences the firing which is started by Pakistan.
"Pakistan cannot dare behead any Indian soldier now. That is the difference which the Modi government has made in its first 100 days," Shah said.
The Congress president also came under attack from Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad over her remarks against Modi.
"I am pained to say that even after remaining out of power, Soniaji's speech writers don't do their homework. That is why she some times says such things. She will realise her mistake if she sees it in a mirror," Prasad said today.
He claimed that while Congress had given a weak prime minister to lead the UPA government, BJP has put a strong person at the helm of the Union Cabinet.
Keeping up his tirade, Shah asked the Congress president whether any Indian Prime Minister had ever received such a rousing welcome in the US as Modi did on his recent visit.
"125 crore Indians felt proud when the PM addressed the UN General Assembly in Hindi," Shah said.
Taking a dig at Congress, the BJP chief said that the prime minister of the previous UP regime would make his Independence Day address to the nation from behind a bullet-proof glass shield. Modi had opted to have the glass screen removed for his maiden I-Day speech after becoming prime minister.
Shah claimed that the GDP growth rate was up at 5.7 per cent from the 4.7 per cent where the previous regime had left it and the prices of petrol had come down to Rs 68 from Rs 72 per litre within 100 days of the NDA government coming to power.
Shah claimed that under the previous Congress-led regime, bank officials would visit the homes of rich industrialists to clinch their accounts but they were now visiting the dwellings of the poor to open their accounts.
"This is the difference the new government has made," he said.
Meanwhile, countering Gandhi's charges on the black money issue, Prasad said, "Your government could not form an SIT on black money in two years despite Supreme Court directives. We constituted the SIT on the very first Cabinet meeting. Now the entire world, including Switzerland, is ready to cooperate with us (on sharing information on black money).
"Soniaji your government has given a weak PM and no one, including the party or any minister, was listening to him. BJP has given a strong PM. India today has a towering leader, a powerful PM whose voice is heard not only in the country but in the entire world with respect and admiration because of his track record of governance."
Prasad further charged that "Soniaji's problem is that why decisions are being made from 7 Race Course Road (PM's residence) and why there has not been any national advisory council?"
In a swipe at Modi, Gandhi had yesterday said, "Empty vessels make the most noise. Being loud doesn't mean you are speaking the truth."
"They are creating such an atmosphere as if nothing has happened in the country since Independence and they will change everyone's fortunes overnight. Have any steps been taken by the BJP to fulfil the promises made during the Lok Sabha elections," Gandhi had asked.
"Has inflation come down? Is the poor man getting food at cheaper rates? Have the unemployed got jobs?" Gandhi had said in Haryana.