As Priyaka Gandhi vowed to fight back the allegations against her husband Robert Vadra, Congress on Tuesday pulled out all the stops in his defence and slammed Narendra Modi for levelling "cheap and baseless" allegations against members of the Gandhi family.
Shedding its inhibitions, Congress, which was describing Vadra as a "private individual" till the other day, went hammer and tongs against Modi and BJP for "practising politics of malicious persecution with a revengeful attitude against the Gandhi family".
The spirited defence of Vadra came at the AICC briefing as Priyanka Gandhi broke her silence on the opposition attack to say that she was "pained" that her husband was being targeted for political reasons.
Party spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters that in the last two years, it has been seen that Modi and some leaders of the BJP have been levelling cheap allegations against "different members" of the Gandhi family despite knowing that there is no truth in those allegations.
"They have resorted to politics of malicious persecution with a revengeful attitude aimed at members of the Gandhi family knowing fully well that neither there is any truth in the allegation, nor there is a foundation."
"Modi and his party are now resorting to petty politicking and malicious campaign. People of India have rejected such BJP sponsored allegations in the past against Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and we are sure that people of India will once again reject this petty politicking," he said.
Surjewala said that there was BJP sponsored public interest litigation before the Allahabad High Court in this regard and it was rejected in March 2013 by the court which said that the PIL was filed with a motive.
"Not satisfied with the verdict of the division bench of the High Court, members of Sangh Parivar and friends of Modi sponsored another litigation in the guise of a PIL in the Supreme Court. It was in fact a private interest litigation to help BJP."
"Even in Supreme Court it was rejected, which questioned the motive behind the PIL and observed that it was not a sin to be relative of a particular leader. The matter should have rested after being tested by the highest court of India...," he said.
Surjewala said people of India are not going to fall in this trap again and will give a befitting reply to such divisive forces.
In Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi said her resolve to fight back will increase the more the opponents attack.
Vadra has been under attack from BJP and some other parties for quite some time over controversial land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Campaigning for her mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in this constituency of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka said Vadra was being attacked by BJP to divert the attention of people from the development issues to "meaningless talk" and that the "truth" about her husband will prevail.