The war of words between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress escalated on Sunday with the BJP leader, in a veiled reference to Rahul Gandhi, likening him to a “small aquarium fish”. In contrast, he said, leaders in the saffron party were like “ocean fish” who could weather big storms.
The Congress reacted sharply to Modi’s fish remarks targeting the scion of the Gandhi-Nehru family in the intense debate on experience versus youth issue ahead of general elections. The party said he was like a “piranha who devoured human beings.”
“If Rahul is like a fish in the aquarium, then Modi is a piranha who devoured human beings,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said in New Delhi.
The remarks of Modi poking fun at Gandhi, while addressing a rally at Margao, 40 km from here, came on a day when the 38-year-old Congress general secretary began his two-day Gujarat tour, his third visit to the state in the last 20 days.
Modi said youths in Congress are incapable of taking on challenges while the BJP’s youth wing can handle any hostile weather.
“We are not small fish floating in the comfort of aquariums, but we weather huge storms to win,” Modi said in an apparent reference to Gandhi, who is being projected as a youth icon for the coming elections.
In a veiled attack again at Gandhi, Modi said, “We are not flowers cultivated by gardeners of the rich, we have grown up in the forests of our own.”
Rahul goes all out to charm Gujarat voters
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, on his third trip to Gujarat in less than a month, interacted with artisan women and people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and sought their support in the Lok Sabha elections.
“You have been traditionally our supporters. Of late, you have been disenchanted with the Congress. Why is it so?” Gandhi asked at a meeting of youngsters from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Patan. He said the government had taken several steps for their uplift.
As part of his two-day tour of Gujarat, Gandhi earlier Sunday interacted with artisan women in Bhujodi village of Kutch district, devastated by a major earthquake on Jan 26, 2001.