NEW DELHI: In a major embarrassment for Congress, its Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Dardaon sunday praised Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, calling him a “lion” . Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, who is also editor-in-chief of a media house, made the remarks at an award function in Ahmedabad, which was also attended by the chief minister.

Darda shared the dais with Modi at the function where the Congress
MP was given the Tarun Kranti award for his services rendered to the
society through the media. As people cheered the chief minister, Darda
said, “The kind of environment created over here… I know that this is
due to the roar of Gujarat’s lion… Modi’s commitment and dedication
towards work bears resemblance to that of a lion.”

Realising the enormity of Darda’s blunder, Modi was quick to take a dig at
Congress. “It won’t be surprising to read tomorrow’s breaking news that
Darda has been served a show-cause notice from the party high command
for praising Modi,” the chief minister said, tongue-in-cheek. The
Gujarat chief minister did not leave the opportunity to score some
political points as he targeted the Congress-led government at the
Centre for some of its policies.

“You will be shocked when you know the type of decisions that are being taken by the central
government. Vijay Darda, a Congress leader is present over here and I
think it is right to say what I feel. They have given a slogan of Pink
Revolution and the Indian government thinks that to earn foreign
exchange…they have to export cow meat… ” Pink Revolution, envisaged
on the lines of the White Revolution involving milk and milk products,
aims at enhancing the quality and investment in the meat and poultry
processing sector.

BJP’s Balbir Punj added: “Darda is brave
enough to voice what most leaders feel.” Darda later retracted his
statement , insisting that he was quoted out of context. “I was just
expressing my heart-felt feelings at a religious function… In our
culture, we always speak good about the host and this is a religious
function, so none of my comments should be misconstrued as political
remarks . I haven’t called him a national saint.

If you would had heard my speech in the Parliament , then I had told something about Narendra Modi that with lots of expectations, his father must have kept his name as
Narendra , so that he will follow the path of Vivekananda,” he said.
Congress was guarded in its response . “Let us ascertain the facts from
the in-charge of the party affairs in the state. Only then it could be
seen what could be done,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

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