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Modi attacks Sonia’s ‘silence’
Published on 14 Jun. 2010 12:26 AM IST
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Using Sonia Gandhi’s “maut ka saudagar” barb, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Sunday attacked the Congress president over her “silence” on the Bhopal verdict, saying she should tell the people who the merchant of death was in this case. Addressing a BJP rally at the conclusion of the party’s national executive meeting here, Modi referred to Sonia Gandhi as “Madam Sonia” and wondered why she had not spoken on the Bhopal verdict.
“Why are you quiet on Bhopal, Madam Sonia. The country wants to know who was the maut ka saudagar (merchant of death) in Bhopal,” Modi said.
“Speak up. Break your silence. The country wants to know what happened in Bhopal,” Modi added.
The “maut ke saudagar” barb was used by Sonia Gandhi in reference to Modi during her campaign for the Gujarat assembly polls in 2007. It referred to the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat in which over 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed. The BJP has attacked the Congress over the release of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson, an accused in the Bhopal gas leak case, saying the party should seek forgiveness from people on the issue. The Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the centre when the gas tragedy took place in Bhopal in 1984, killing and maiming thousands.
On June 7, after over 25 years, seven people were convicted for the Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster, and sentenced to two years in prison. They were immediately granted bail.
Modi, who came under attack from Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar over an advertisement which referred to the relief work done by the Gujarat government in the state, said the BJP’s politics and its mantra was development.
He also spoke of the development strides made by Gujarat and thanked the people of Bihar for “showering affection” on him.
Modi attacked the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre for failing to contain Maoist violence.

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