18 july 2013
In Mumbai, BJP puts up posters projecting Narendra Modi as ‘Hindu nationalist’
Mumbai: The Mumbai unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has put up posters of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was elevated recently as the party’s election campaign chief, all over the city. The BJP says they have put up 50 of these posters which project Mr Modi as a ‘Hindu nationalist’ and a patriot.
“We have done the campaign of Rajnathji, Advaniji and now Modiji. We will take all our leaders to voters. That is my work and that is what we will do. Governance and development is a key issue and we will campaign on that also,” Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar said.
However, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has compared the BJP to a “leopard” who doesn’t change its spots.
“The leopard never changes its spots. In the beginning, it appeared that their campaign will be development-oriented, but now it has become clear what it will be,” NCP leader Supriya Sule said.
In public comments in recent days, Mr Modi appears to be aggressively propagating hardliner credentials. Since Friday, he has used the analogy of a puppy being run over in the context of the communal riots of 2002, declared himself Hindu nationalist, and accused the Congress of using a “burqa (veil) of secularism” to conceal its administrative failures. The strategy appears to be aimed at polarising the pro-Hindutva right-wing vote as other parties try to consolidate the minority vote against him.