The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday slammed Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor terming his twitter remarks about "cattle class" travel as an insult to a large middle class who led an austere lifestyle.
Tharoor ran into trouble for a message he posted as a reply to someone on the social networking site Twitter, in which he said he would travel "cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!" The question was about Congress leaders travelling economy class as part of austerity measures.
BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: "Tharoor has termed economy class in airlines as cattle class. (This reflects) the insensitivity of the minister. This tantamounts to (causing) deep injury to the self-respect and esteem of millions who travel economy class," Rudy said in a statement here.
He said Tharoor's remarks show his arrogance typical of Congress leaders. The minister also came in for criticism from his own party on Wednesday.
Referring to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's recent tour to Tamil Nadu, the BJP spokesperson claimed the visit cost over Rs.1 crore. "This demolishes his tall claim of austerity," he said, and asked if this was austerity.
Rudy added that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders "tom-tomming" about austerity was all hypocrisy and played with people's emotions. It was to distract public attention from drought and price rise.
"It would be worthwhile if the UPA government stopped further lip service and chest thumping of austerity for sundry political gains," he added.