New Delhi: After facing embarrassment over some party leaders' praise of Narendra Modi, Congress on Wednesday targeted the chief minister, likening his rule with that of the Nazis.
"The Nazis also built autobahns (German expressways) but what defined the Nazi regime wasn't those autobahns. It was Auschwitz (concentration camp). It was Treblinka (externation camp). It was ghettos (where jews were forced to live)," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
Tewari, however, hastened to add that he was not drawing any parallel.
"Notwithstanding the complete myth of a vibrant Gujarat, ultimately in the final analysis what is going to define the BJP government in Gujarat is the inaction and the culpability in the Gujarat carnage. I am not drawing any parallels but yes there are certain lessons, which history teaches us."
He was responding to questions on Tuesday's comment of Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit that there was "no two opinion that development is taking place in Gujarat" and that governments get re-elected again and again because they ensure development.
As her statement kicked up a controversy, Dikshit later clarified that she cannot praise Modi who is accused of communal riots in Gujarat, while another Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi on Tuesday said that the Chief Minister's statement was made in a different context.
In a sort of self-goal in an election year, the Gujarat Congress had in a Republic Day advertisement in local newspapers last week also praised Modi.
A pull-out by Congress, distributed with newspapers on the Republic Day in some parts of the state, featured Modi's photograph, and describes him as "a master organiser and astute election strategist". The state assembly elections are scheduled to be held in December.