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Arrest me if you have the guts, Modi tells PM
Sheela Bhatt in Bhiloda, Sabarkantha district | December 12, 2007 20:04 IST
Last Updated: December 13, 2007 10:58 IST
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] on Wednesday dared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to arrest him 'if he has the guts' during a campaign rally in a small tribal town in the Sabarkantha district of Gujarat.
"If you have the guts, Manmohan Singh, arrest me tomorrow morning; arrest anyone you want," Modi thundered during his combative speech.
"Do you think the people of Gujarat will get scared by your threats and vote for the Congress? Brothers and sisters, Gujarat is not going to be frightened. Gujaratis are proud people. I am requesting Congressmen not to keep coming here to threaten us," he added.
Modi was replying to a comment made by Dr Singh at a press conference in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, where he said that criminal cases filed during the communal riots in Gujarat after the Godhra carnage would be reviewed if the Congress comes back to power in Gujarat.
Modi, while trying to evoke emotion, said, "I am fighting the battle for the swabhiman (dignity) of Gujarat. Those days have gone when Gujarat used to dance to the tunes of Delhi".
Modi went on to say that the prime minister should, "Stop playing vote bank politics".
While taking up the issue of reviewing riot cases, Modi told the crowd of more than 10,000, "The prime minister has visited Gujarat yesterday. He came here and threatened us. He has said that what happened here after Godhra will be reviewed. Who are you (Singh) threatening? Your government is in New Delhi for four years. If I would've been doing anything wrong here, do you think I would have been spared? They would have cut me into four pieces".
Modi, once again raking up the Sohrabuddin issue, aggressively said, "'Sohrabuddin, Sohrabuddin,' the Congress is thumping its chest. I don't understand what their (Congress) relation with Sohrabuddin was. I want to request my friends in the Congress that if they have so much love for him, they should make a pledge during this election. If the Congress regains its seat, then they will offer four chaddar (sacred clothes offered as a mark of respect) on Sohrabuddin's grave. I am not stopping them. What is 'Sohrabiddin, Sohrabuddin'? If you would've chanted Gandhiji's name as many times, you would've been purified".
"The Congress is not interested in development. Gujarat is a sore in their eye," he added as tribal crowds applauded to the satisfaction of his party's workers and cadres.