Debate: The tape wars - 1
Dismissing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's charge that BJP has brought down the level of political discourse, Narendra Modi on Monday (November 18) said it was Rahul Gandhi who insulted PM by terming as "nonsense" the Cabinet-cleared Ordinance on convicted legislators. "The dignity of PM's post was shattered. Who did it? Who has insulted the entire Cabinet? Who has humiliated the entire Parliament? The party of which you are so proud of and the party which has made you occupy the PM's Chair, thatparty's vice-president had the audacity of calling your decision nonsense," Modi said at election rallies. He was referring to the Ordinance, now revoked, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet with an intention to nullify a Supreme Court order prescribing immediate disqualification of an MLA or MP if convicted in a court of law. Gandhi had termed the ordinance "complete nonsense", saying it should be "torn up and thrown away"."No BJP member has committed the sin or caused the humiliation that he (Gandhi) did by tearing up the paper of a decision which was taken democratically. "Those with whose blessing you are occupying the (PM's) chair have conspired to show you down in front of billions of people," Modi said. Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate, said Gandhi's comments were like a "slap on the (PM's) face" while he had been on a US visit. "Tell us Prime Minister, have we done this? If you cannot say anything against them, then don't, but do not blame us for this," Modi said. Modi further alleged that "Shahzade" (Gandhi) had lowered the dignity of democratic institutions. He assured the people that BJP will guard their interest and not allow the "corrupt" Congress to take away their hard earned money. "We are your chowkidars (guards). We will not let the Congress 'hand' take away the rightful money of the poor. I promise I would not let that happen," Modi said."Recently, he (Gandhi) said BJP is chor (thief)... The country knows that when the last Parliament session was on, there were slogans of "chor, chor"... You also asked if the opposition in any other country calls its PM chor," Modi said. Gandhi had last week dubbed BJP a "party of thieves" during an election rally in Chhattisgarh and accused it of "looting natural resources" in that state. "Is this kind of behaviour right? If you say we are thieves, then we accept this charge... We have committed theft. We have stolen Congress's sleep," Modi said sarcastically. Modi said that if Singh, Gandhi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi wanted to fight BJP, they should do so on developmental issues. He warned Congress against using government power and false propaganda in any such contest, saying it cannot suppress BJP with those tactics.In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Pinky Anand, Spokesperson, BJP; Amee Yagnik, Spokesperson, Congress and Shobha Oza, President, All India Mahila Congress -- discuss whether, is there a conspiracy as alleged by Modi to target him by raking up controversial snooping tapes?
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