Union Minister Manish Tewari on Thursday slammed Narendra Modi's speech as "unoriginal" and raised the 2002 Godhra incident to question the Gujarat chief minister's claim that train travellers felt safe on entering his state.
Picking on Modi's speech at a rally in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, in which he had attacked Congress, Tewari said he thought the most "amusing part" of the speech was that "even the rhetoric is unoriginal."
He said in 1991, former Prime Minister Chandrasekhar had given a slogan 4 months qua 40 years.
"And now, 23 years later, the Chief Minister of Gujarat repeats those same lines, 60 months qua 60 years. The fact is, if you are in politics, at least you should come up with original lines rather than relying on a borrowed script which has been rejected by the people," Tewari said.
He said the opposition party should reflect on why the country is prepared to give Congress 60 years and "not even six months to BJP".
Criticising Modi further for claiming that train travellers felt much safer after entering Gujarat, Tewari said the country had not forgotten the incident involving a train that left Ayodhya and reached Gujarat.
"And, insofar as trains leaving Uttar Pradesh and coming through Gujarat are concerned, I think this country has not forgotten a train which left Ayodhya, what happened to it when it reached Gujarat and the subsequent aftermath of the destruction and the mayhem which then ensued," Tewari said.
He said before talking about trains and prosperity, Modi should reflect upon the carnage which was orchestrated in 2002 in Gujarat during his rule.
Earlier in the day, Modi had hit out at Congress, saying the ruling party was mocking the poor, whom it has used only as a vote-bank without doing anything for them.