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Now Modi trains his guns on Amarinder

Pankaj Upadhyaya in Shimla | February 18, 2003 20:00 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave the sex scandal allegedly involving some Punjab ministers a new turn -- and what a turn.Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the press conference

Addressing a press conference in Shimla, where he arrived in the afternoon on a three-day election tour, Modi alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, when he was in Gujarat campaigning for the Congress, had stayed in a hotel room which was not booked in his name.

"Why does a chief minister need to hide behind a false identity?" Modi asked.

He, however, did not mention the name of the hotel.

Amarinder Singh, who is struggling to defend his ministers against allegations of immoral conduct while in Gujarat campaigning for the Congress, has a new headache now.

When asked if the investigation into the sex scandal by his government was not political vendetta against the Congress unleashed to coincide with the assembly election in Himachal Pradesh, Modi said: "We could have come out with these details earlier and the ripple effect would have continued till this day. Timing is of no consequence in a scandal of this magnitude."

The Gujarat chief minister said investigations would reveal more skeletons.

"I am surprised that [Congress chief] Sonia Gandhi has been mum so far [on the involvement of her ministers in the scandal]. Being a woman, it's a matter that should concern her greatly," he said.

The Gujarat chief minister was the BJP general secretary in charge of Himachal Pradesh before he was sent to Gujarat.

A press note released at the conference spoke about a natural synergy between the two states. Modi went on to list tourism, pharmaceuticals and trade in handicraft as some of the areas where the two states could cooperate.

When asked if the same cooperation could be extended to the import of his brand of Hindutva, popularly referred to as Moditva, Modi was evasive. "Export-import happens between two nations and not two states," he said.

On the relevance of his brand of Hindutva in Himachal Pradesh, Modi said the Bharatiya Janata Party's ideas on cultural nationalism would be successfully applied everywhere.

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