"I am proud to be a regional leader of Gujarat. Rahul is not a national leader but an international leader and he can contest elections in India as well as in Italy". Last Monday Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (BJP), addressing the Swami Vivekananda Youth Convention in Rajkot, said that the Congress general secretary Rahul is such a global leader to be able to contest election even in Italy.
Am I mistaking or Mr Modi is once again targeting the much debated issue of the foreign origin of Rahul's mother, Sonia Gandhi? Sonia is the current President of the Indian National Congress Party and the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance(UPA), the coalition of center-left political parties leading the government of India. She is the longest serving president in the history of the Congress and the first foreign-born person since India independence in 1947. Her alien origin has become a dominant issue for the BJP, which demands that the Congress replace Sonia as All India Congress Committee president “in the interest of the country”, precisely because of her foreign origin.
According to Mr Modi, the UPA government did not fulfill the promises made in the Congress election manifesto in 2004. “In 2004, Congress in its manifesto had promised to give job to one crore youth but according to a report issued by the government of India, Gujarat is the leader in giving jobs with 72 per cent of share,” Modi said last Monday.
Mr Modi is credited with high economic growth in Gujarat under his government. Mr Modi is criticised for centering is campaign for the Gujarat election on spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda, who however has always remained away from politics and did not want to be considered as a political leader.