Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, Oct 3 began her campaigning in Gujarat for the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Mrs Gandhi was very cautious while criticising Gujarat government. Despite Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's attack on Sonia's travel expenses, Mrs Gandhi decided to maintain silence on the issue.
Citing her silence on Modi's attack and keeping herself away from criticising the Gujarat CM directly, questions have been raised - Is the UPA Chairperson scared of Narendra Modi?
Mrs Gandhi, who had shown her aggression during poll campaigning in 2007 by calling Modi "Maut ka saudagar (merchant of death)", has become defensive this time. Despite attacking Modi, the Congress President defended herself and UPA government.
"Whenever we've taken steps in the interest of the nation, there've been all kinds of attacks on us. We've never bothered about such attacks earlier and we never will. These people are not against corruption, they are just against us," said Mrs Gandhi while addressing the crowd gathered at a campaign meeting in Rajkot on Wednesday.
Political observers were expecting Sonia to reply back to charges made against her by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. But she did not make any direct reference against Modi.
However, she said charges made against UPA government by opposition were to divert attention from main issues concerning people.
"Our opposition is making baseless charges and as a result, important issues and good points are being left unnoticed," added Sonia.
Mrs Gandhi's defensive statements surfaced after Modi recently quoted a newspaper report saying that the Centre had spent Rs 1,880 crore on Congress President's treatment and foreign tour.
However, Central Information Commission (CIC) on Wednesday clarified that Mrs Gandhi herself has spent on her treatment and the central government did not make the payment for her.