Cong questions Modi's silence over Jethmalani's Ram remark

Anand, Gujarat: Opposition Congress on Tuesday questioned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's 'silence' over BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani's remark in which he termed Lord Ram as a "bad husband".

"We can't call Mr Modi a monkey....because the creature was innocent and an ardent follower of Lord Ram. If Modi calls himself a Rambhakt (devotee) then he should take on Ram Jethmalani who has passed the remark about Lord Ram," Modhwadia told party's election campaign rally 'Jan Vijay Nirdhar Sammmellan' here.

Narendra Modi. PTI

Speaking at a function in Delhi earlier this month, Jethmalani had said, "Ram was a bad husband. I don't like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman (Sita) to exile".

Modhwadia had kicked up a row earlier when he compared Modi with a monkey in the context of Ramayana.

Modi had retorted saying "if they (Congress) studied Ramayana well then they should have understood the significance of 'vanar shakti' (monkey power)".

Taking the comparison in his stride, Modi, during his recent hi-tech 3D public address, stated that "I accept the title given by them (Congress) to me. I have got the chance to serve Gujarat, so the six crore Gujaratis are like Ram to me, I am their Hanuman".

Later talking to media on the sidelines of the rally, Modhwadia said he was hopeful of a solution on seat-sharing with NCP ahead of next month elections.

"Deliberations are on in Delhi about Congress-NCP seat sharing in Gujarat. I hope a solution to it shall be out soon," he told reporters.

According to party sources, Sharad Pawar-led NCP has staked claims on 11 seats, of which six are such from where Congress candidates have higher probability of winning.

Campaigning for Congress, party MP Sanjay Nirupam accused BJP of adopting double standards on the Lokpal issue.

"Why does the BJP, which is campaigning for Lokpal across the country, is dragging its feet on appointing Lokayukta in Gujarat. Why have they moved Supreme Court on appointment of Lokayukta?" he said.

Senior Congress leader Girija Vyas said states like Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan have raced ahead of Gujarat on the development front. "As compared to NDA regime, Gujarat was allocated 50 per cent more funds for development works during the UPA regime," she claimed.

PTI