After refusing to share BJP's euphoria on the first year of the NDA Government, ally Shiv Sena today lavished praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while attacking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying "hundred Rahul Gandhis cannot match Modi."
Hitting back at Sena, Congress said the future will show that only one Rahul will be enough to counter not only Modi but the entire Sangh Parivar and their "politics of communalism."
An editorial in Sena's mouthpiece "Saamana" today said, "Rahul Gandhi has started moving and speaking after his 56-day sabbatical which has restored confidence among Congress workers. However, the question is how long this renewed energy will last before Narendra Modi's mega wave."
Taking on Gandhi's "suit boot ki sarkar" jibe, Sena alleged "suitcases filled with cash used to exchange hands during the Congress rule." Modi is absolutely right when he says that "suited and booted" government is much better than a "suitcase government", it said, adding "suits are worn by people around the world and that a country's image does not improve by wearing scruffy clothes."
It said the confidence of the business community has been restored since the Modi Government came to power last year. "The country is witnessing a new spark under Narendra Modi. India's 'suit wearing people' (referring to the business community) roam the world with confidence and pride," the Sena mouthpiece said.
Congress spokesperson for Maharashtra, Al-Nasser Zakaria, however, reminded Sena that Gandhi is not just a man of words but also a man of action." "Gandhi is not only a man of words but also a man of action. Sena is wrong in praising Modi because the party itself knows that only the elite have benefitted from Modi's governance.
"The coming time will show that only one Rahul will be enough to counter not only Modi but the entire Sangh Parivar who are playing the politics of communalism," he said.
The BJP said, "It is heartening to see that the editor of the Sena's mouthpiece has finally seen the light of the day and has realised that the BJP and Modi ji are only working for the common man and for farmers." The BJP is only looking at development of all sections of society, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.
Meanwhile, NCP's Sunil Tatkare said it was surprising that the Sena has found a new target now. "The whole country has seen the venomous criticism that Sena has been levelling on its ally. A sudden praise can only mean that the power hungry party is praising him for some under the table deal," Tatkare added.