Congress releases 3-yr-old video showing BJP leader Uma Bharti describing Narendra Modi as a 'vinash purush' (man of destruction) and calling his development claims of Gujarat as being 'sham'
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday released an explosive video showing BJP leader Uma Bharti as describing BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a "vinash purush" (man of destruction).
"My view is (that) Gujarat is a fear-stricken state," Uma Bharti says in the only English sentence in the video in which she otherwise speaks in Hindi.
"Innocent Hindus are languishing in jail in Gujarat. Has Narendra Modi done anything about it?" she asks.
"He is not a 'vikas purush' (man of development), he is a 'vinash purush' (man of destruction)," she is heard saying.
Narendra Modi and Uma Bharti. File Pic/AFP
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the video was recorded in Gujarat a few years back, apparently when Uma Bharti had walked out of the BJP in a huff.
Embarrassed leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party admitted that the video was not a fake by saying Uma Bharti was not in the party when she made these remarks.
Uma Bharti is also heard targeting BJP leader Arun Jaitley, a Modi confidant, wondering if he would fight for the jailed Hindus in Gujarat.
The video has been made public at a time when the BJP has been hailing Modi, who has been Gujarat's chief minister since 2001, and the so-called Gujarat model of development as the answer to India's problems.
A former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and now a member of the Uttar Pradesh assembly, Uma Bharti was for a long time one of the best known faces of the Hindutva movement.
She was expelled from the BJP in December 2005 after which she launched a Bharatiya Janshakti Party. She rejoined the BJP in 2011 and was given charge of Uttar Pradesh before the last assembly elections there.
BJP sources said the video was indeed from the time when she left the party.
Party leader Meenakshi Lekhi called it a diversionary tactic of the Congress amid the ongoing Lok Sabha election.
"They have nothing to say, so they are making these desperate attempts to divert attention (from their failures)," Lekhi said.