Challenge Congress to debate on development, governance: Venkaiah

Hyderabad: Amid the ongoing war of words between the Congress and the saffron party, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu alleged today that the Congress is running away from a healthy debate on governance and development.

"I challenge our political opponents, join the debate on development and governance. We want to focus on this only. We want to have development and good governance as the agenda for national elections," he told reporters in Hyderabad.

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

Five years of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rule during the NDA regime and governance in BJP-ruled states could be compared to 50 years of Congress rule as well as Congress-ruled states, Naidu said.

"My charge is that Congress is running away from a debate. Whenever the Congress is in trouble, it tries to divert people's attention from issues of governance to some other issue," he said.

Alleging that needless controversies are created by quoting comments out of context, he said that such a row was triggered over the "puppy" remark of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"The Congress has failed to bring back black money, check price rise in 100 days and put down Pak-sponsored terror as promised and it has brought an ordinance on food security now as if it was sleeping all these years," he said.

Asked about Congress leader Ajay Maken's reported criticism that Modi tries to mislead people through his speeches, Naidu said that people are not innocent to be misled.

He charged that it is the Congress which is in the habit of misleading people.

"They gave a slogan 'Garibi Hatao' and poverty increased. The Congress does not have credibility," he said.

Replying to a query, Naidu said that the BJP is in favour of the spirit of the Supreme Court judgement on barring convicted people from contesting elections.

PTI