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Congress attacks Modi over remarks in US, advises ‘counselling’

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New Delhi: The Congress on Monday launched a strong attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his veiled dig at the party on corruption during his ongoing US visit, saying his remarks reflect an “unhealthy mindset” and have “dragged the political narrative to gutter level” and advised him to seek “counselling”.

Congress’ senior spokesman Anand Sharma, leading the party’s fierce attack, accused Modi of insulting his mother during his speeches and interactions in San Jose.

He also demanded an independent inquiry into finances for Modi’s public events during his visits abroad, saying he was a “showman” who had “engaged in theatrics, drama and made boastful claims true to his form”.

“We demand an independent inquiry into hundreds and millions of dollars spent in organising the event(s),” said the former union minister, accusing Modi of misusing his official state visits and claiming that hundreds of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers made preparations for his public events.

“No other prime minister does such projection as Modi does. No prime minister has done it. The reason is his bent of mind. He thinks no one is equal to him. This a matter of national worry. It is unhealthy mindset,” he said.

Referring to Modi’s remarks about corruption from sons, daughters, and son-in-laws of political leaders, Sharma asked him to furnish a list so that people can verify such allegations. Modi had made apparent reference in his speech to controversy surrounding land deals of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Sharma also raised questions about Modi’s remarks that he sold tea as a child, saying that his father had a “proper canteen” at Vadnagar and his uncle had a canteen in Ahmedabad where Modi managed the counter and “did not sell tea”.

Referring to the prime minister getting emotional and breaking down while recalling events about his mother during the speech, he said that Modi had “insulted his mother” by stating that she worked in houses for minor jobs to raise her children, claiming his family was not so poor.

“What is the duty of a son whose mother has sacrificed so much. Instead of crying outside (the country), he should fulfil his duty. May be the people of country will respect him more. We are troubled that he repeatedly brings disrepute to the country,” he said.

Sharma said Modi talks about his own poverty in childhood and of working for the poor but had repeatedly used a luxury chartered plane for travel as Gujarat chief minister.

The Congress leaders said that world leaders usually wear the same suit during their engagements during a day but Modi was “unique”. “He wears different dresses and talks of poverty. Leaders of rich countries do not have time for a fashion show,” he said.

He said Modi talks of the importance of social media but that cannot take away the depth needed in dialogue while engaging with other leaders and “which the PM lacks completely”.

Sharma also disputed Modi’s figures on the size of India’s economy and FDI flows, alleging that the prime minister had misled the country “by placing wrong facts and figures before it”.

“For Modi, it’s I, me and myself,” he said.