New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's ‘burqa (veil) of secularism’ remark targeting the Congress on Monday drew a stinging response from the ruling party. Launching a scathing attack, AICC general secretary Ajay Maken said that ‘veil of secularism’ was much better than ‘naked communalism’.

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The Congress also sought to puncture the claim of BJP's election campaign chief on the issue of development in Gujarat, saying the state during Modi's tenure lagged behind on several development indicators.

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"We will have to respond if the chairman of the campaign committee of the BJP resorts to disinformation campaign and makes factually incorrect statements," Maken said, a day after Modi came down heavily on the Congress and the central government on various issues including the state of economy, development and corruption.
     
"The burqa of secularism is much better than naked communalism. While communalism divides, secularism binds," Maken said. Modi had on Sunday charged Congress with wearing the ‘burqa (veil) of secularism’ and ‘hiding in a bunker’ each time it is confronted with a crisis.

Accusing Modi of presenting 'erroneous' and 'false' figures, Maken said that a person, who has ‘not been able to serve his own people properly and ‘failed in his own state has no business telling the whole country what to do.
    
Drawing parallels from the achievements in Gujarat during Modi's tenure and the NDA rule at the Centre, Maken said the performance of the UPA was much better in all fields including GDP growth, tourism and education.
    
"I want to ask him what he did in Gujarat that he keeps touring the whole country trying to give lessons to youths," he said, adding that only a handful from Gujarat won medals in Olympic and very tourists visited the state in ten years since Modi was Chief Minister.
     
Taking similar lines, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the choice before people was an inclusive India or an India which is sectarian.

BJP backs Modi’s ‘veil of secularism’ comment

All India Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur on Monday said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that the Congress does not want to answer questions and it hides behind a “veil of secularism" is apt.

"On the context of the veil, I would just like to say that when the Congress party does not have an answer, it hides in a veil and Narendra Modi has spoken the truth," Thakur said.

"The country also knows that the Congress is rolling out the food security (scheme) only to win elections,” he added.

(JPN/Agencies)

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