'Congress government is jealous of Narendra Modi'
The Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party organised a protest near the Indian Consulate in New York on Sunday, alleging harassment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
The demonstrators carried placards which said, 'Stop Harassing Narendra Modi', 'Stop the Misuse of Central Bureau Investigation' and alleged that the CBI was turning into the 'Congress bureau of intimidation'.
'The Congress government is jealous of Narendra Modi's popularity. It is using the CBI to malign him and tarnish his image in the eyes of public," said Dr Vijay Laxmi, vice president of Andhara Pradesh BJP, who is currently on a visit to the US.
Dr Sudhakar Reddy, chief advisor to the national executive of OFBJP, claimed that nearly 200 people joined the protest. They later handed over a memorandum addressed to President Pratibha Patil to the consulate officials.
'We want to bring to your notice that the CBI is selectively used by the UPA government against its political opponents. The BJP government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, is doing great work under every development index," it said.
'The popularity of Modi is increasing'
The memorandum also noted that India Today magazine had consistently ranked Modi as the best chief minister in its annual rankings for several years in a row. Gita Johri, an IPS officer, too accused the CBI of pressurising her to give a statement against Modi, they claimed.
"The popularity of Modi is increasing day by day. He has nationwide popularity. We suspect that the intention of the UPA government is malicious and it wants to defame Modi," it said.
Reddy said the protest was held on a Sunday because it would have been difficult for the members to attend the event on a weekday. There were several other community events on Saturday, forcing to move the protest to Sunday, normally a holiday for the consulate.
'It is a matter of great disgrace that UPA government, headed by Sonia Gandhi, is fabricating false charges against Modi in an insidious attempt to defame and denigrate him and destroy his credibility,' said Narain Kataria, one of the organisers.
Reddy justified holding the protest abroad, saying it was the duty of the Indians to oppose injustice. "It was what Mahatma Gandhi taught us. From the time of emergency, protests against injustice are common," he said.
The memorandum was signed by Dr Rajesh Shukla, Dr Sudhakar Reddy, Dr CB Singh, Mohinder Singh Gulati, Narain Kataria and Bhavesh Dave.