NEW DELHI (TIP): The Congress on April 3 accused Narendra Modi of communalizing the elections by raking up the issue of meat exports and said Gujarat was among the leading exporters of processed meat. “My question to Modi is that even in Gujarat, there has been substantial increase in the export of meat. There are also abattoirs there,” commerce minister and Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said.

The party slammed BJP for alleging that Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid was an attempt to communalize elections, saying meetings with religious leaders were not tantamount to invoking religion in politics. Taking potshots at his immaculate dressing and his sartorial choices, Sharma said Modi knew neither history nor geography and all he knew was to change clothes six times a day.

Arguing that Congress had done nothing unusual like “pink revolution”, Sharma alleged that Modi was raising the issue in constituencies with sizeable population of Yadavs, who rear cattle, in order to create a schism between communities. “There is no subsidy given by the government of India for meat export. This is a total lie. Only bovine (buffalo) meat is exported. Cow slaughter is banned in the country,” Sharma said.

“Modi has said it earlier also and being commerce minister in-charge of the issue, I have written to the Gujarat chief minister and dismissed his charges. He goes silent when the answer is given,” he added. The sharp attack came after Modi, at a rally in Uttar Pradesh, accused Congress of encouraging “pink revolution” to ruin the country.

He alleged the Congress-led government was giving subsidies to slaughter houses. Amid reports that the Election Commission would take cognizance if it received a complaint against Sonia’s meeting with the Shahi Imam, Sharma said, “The leaders of Congress as well as from other parties are free to meet Shankaracharya, saints, imams and dharma gurus. It does not mean doing communal politics. Hindu religion is not something given to RSS on contract.”

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Volume 10 Issue 41 | New York | Oct 21

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