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Modi skipped NIC meet fearing embarrassing questions: Lalu Prasad
Tuesday September 24, 2013 12:10 PM, Agencies

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday took on Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's PM candidate Narendra Modi for skipping the National Integration Council (NIC) meet, stating that the latter feared uncomfortable and embarrassing questions would be posed to him.

"He purposely skipped the NIC meeting because he didn't want to face uncomfortable questions," Lalu was quoted as saying by media reports.

"Modi knew he would be targeted by politicians at the meet today, that is why he skipped this crucial meet. Does he think he will become the Prime Minister? I think it is not that easy a task. What he could do is to address his supporters at a replica of the iconic Red Fort in Chhattisgarh in a bid to fulfill his ambitions," Yadav said.

Raking up the 2002 Gujarat riots to drive home his point at the NIC meet, Lalu said, "I see India being polarised before 2014. Amit Shah, who was the manager of Gujarat riots, is responsible for the Uttar Pradesh riots. He has now reached Bihar. I see riots across the country."

Modi skipped the meeting attended by around 16 chief ministers. But some chief ministers of Congress-ruled states were also missing.

Modi has faced immense political criticism for skipping the NIC meeting, which was called by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to discuss the internal concerns that face the country.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Monday said that BJP's prime ministerial nominee and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should have attended the National Integration Council meeting here.

"It is the duty of the chief ministers. A leader like him (Modi) should have come at such an important meeting. Chief ministers give important inputs at such meetings," Shinde told reporters after the NIC meet.

Earlie, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla recalled that Modi had recently addressed Indian Diaspora in America, as part of his election campaign, and said it was unfortunate that the Gujarat chief minister could not find time to attend a meeting of the NIC, which dealt with domestic concerns.

"He is already so egoistic that he thinks that all of these meetings are useless, and that he is supreme. Narendra Modi has time to address U.S. citizens, but does not have time to address discussions on internal harmony, peace, law and order of the country," news agency ANI quoted Shukla as saying.

"At a meeting at which all the chief ministers of the country were present, Narendra Modi could not find time to attend the NIC. One can only imagine what he would do if, god forbid, he comes into a more important position of power in the country," he added.

The NIC that is constituted of Union Ministers, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Chief Ministers of all states and Union Territories met on Monday to deliberate upon the measures taken to promote communal harmony, role of social networking sites in promoting national integration and ways of tackling hate propaganda.

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