The Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are talking about secularism only to cover up their failures in governance and corruption, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader M Venkaiah Naidu alleged in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"The Congress rakes up this debate to cover up its failures and corruption. This is a useless debate. People know who is secular and who is not. Those who made Muslim League a part of Union Cabinet, such prime minister does not have the right to talk about secularism," Naidu told mediapersons.
"Is the Muslim League secular? Is the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen secular? Why did the Congress had an understanding with them? Why the Congress and the MIM are in power in Hyderabad corporation?" he asked.
Naidu was replying to a query about prime minister's remarks that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is secular.
"He (Kumar) became secular after he parted ways with BJP? Was he not secular earlier?" Naidu said. "People are not innocent. Talk about development, talk about growth rate, talk about bringing back black money. The prime minister is not ready to talk about it, because of his own failures," he said.
Referring to the PM’s comments that people know what Narendra Modi stood for, Naidu said the Gujarat chief minister stood for dynamism, decisiveness and development, "qualities which are missing in the United Progressive Alliance."
Replying to a query about Modi's scheduled visit to Ayodhya, he said, "It is not back to Hindutva. Our agenda is development, speedy development of the country. He is going to
Ayodhya for a programme of Sant Ramachandra Paramhansji. It is there in newspapers. You must have seen. Then, Narendra bhai meeting Advaniji, what is special about it, Advaniji is our leader."
Describing the Janata Dal-United’s decision to part ways with the BJP as unfortunate and painful, Naidu claimed it is still not clear why they broke the alliance.
"They are not able to make it clear why they broke ties with BJP. Same BJP, same leadership, same agenda. The JD-U leaders were ministers in the NDA government. The JD-U leaders praised Gujarat development earlier," he said.
He also quoted a statement purportedly made by Kumar in praise of Modi earlier.
"It is not clear what is the reason. That's why I feel there is something more than that meets the eye. They have to say what it is. The dismissal of ministers and such actions
are not good on their part," he said.
Disagreeing that the NDA is weakened following the exit of the JD-U, he maintained that the BJP is poised to get substantial number of seats in next Lok Sabha elections and that there will be a realignment of political forces.
"I am confident that all those who are against ongress will eventually join hands with the BJP," he said.
Dismissing the talk of a third front or the federal front, he wondered how can it be a reality when the supposed constituents do not see eye to eye in their respective states.
He cited the example of Telugu Desam Party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the and YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh, the Left and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu among others.
"Your past record speaks for itself. National Front became a notional front. The United Front became a divided front. The Third Front, they removed the tent," he said.
Referring to Monday’s Union Cabinet expansion, he claimed that such cosmetic changes would not help the Congress in the last year of UPA-II.
"Aadhar, they will not get janadhar (public support). They brought in cash transfer, but people are thinking of regime transfer. Through the Cabinet expansion, the Congress is trying to improve its strength. But, it will not expand the base of the Congress," he added.