"He accused the Congress of ruining the future prospects of the next two generations because of ten years of corruption, policy paralysis, and unemployment."
New Delhi, April 29 - BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Tuesday said he had the highest respect for Kargil hero Vikram Batra and his parents and would rather quit politics than dishonour or hurt them.
He was defending his use of Batra's oft-quoted phrase Yeh dil maange more to appeal for 300 Lok Sabha seats at a rally in Himachal Pradesh's Palampur, the hometown of Captain Batra.
Addressing a 3D rally using holographic technique, Modi said: I talked about Vikram Batra with due respect but later I got to know that my political adversaries made an issue out of it. I was very upset.
Vikram Batra is the son of India and he became a martyr for us. I salute him and his parents. I can never dishonour our martyrs or hurt their families. I would rather quit politics. I was very saddened to hear about this unnecessary controversy, he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party defended Modi saying the martyr's quote was not the family's property, but the Congress attacked him for insulting the war hero, while use of the slogan was disapproved of by Batra's parents, who said their son's sacrifice should not be politicised.
Continuing his attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, Modi accused the mother-son duo of benefiting people attached with them but not in politics, in a reference to Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law, but asserted their days were numbered.
That's why the Congress has been abusing and attacking me. They are frustrated and have tried every trick in the book to suppress my voice, he claimed.
He accused the Congress of ruining the future prospects of the next two generations because of ten years of corruption, policy paralysis, and unemployment.
We need a strong government that can address the issues of 70 crore youngsters below the age of 35. A government that vows to work for the poor, for the youth, for the women and children, he said.