Modi stirs ‘damaad’ debate as he makes veiled attack on Cong, Vadra

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jammu
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2015 20:54 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at centenary celebrations of late Congress leader Girdhari Lal Dogra in Jammu. (Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered a "damaad" debate on Friday after he obliquely referred to Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law as an embarrassment in comparison to finance minister Arun Jaitley, whose father-in-law was a former Congress stalwart.

Modi was in Jammu for a whistle-stop visit to attend the centenary celebrations of the late Girdhari Lal Dogra, who was Jammu and Kashmir's finance minister for a record 27 years.

"I'm very sure that Girdhari Lalji's judgement of character was very sharp, it shows in his choice of son-in-law," the Prime Minister said in his address after going through a photo exhibition on the life of Dogra at Zorawar Singh auditorium of Jammu University.

He said Jaitley held on to his own political beliefs and never used his father-in-law's clout.

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"Otherwise we all know what embarrassment sons-in-law have become for their in-laws nowadays," he said, taking a dig at Congress president Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, although he didn't name him.


Modi's veiled 'political damaads' comment on Sonia, Vadra

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla reacted sharply to Modi's veiled criticism of Vadra, saying dynasty politics was more visible in the BJP than in any other political party.

The party said the Prime Minister indulged in cheap politics but avoided the core issue of announcing a development package for Jammu and Kashmir.

"There are several politicians whose kids are in politics. It is there in the BJP, too. But the biggest disappointment is that no package was announced for Jammu and Kashmir," Congress leader Meem Afzal said.

The Prime Minister's visit was seen as a strong signal from the government after indiscriminate shelling and firing by Pakistan Rangers killed a woman, two soldiers and two villagers along the border.

It was also expected that he would announce a special financial package of Rs 70,000 crore to boost development in trouble-torn state, which has been battered by years of militancy and devastating floods last autumn.

But Modi didn't announce the package, which would have been the biggest-ever for Jammu and Kashmir currently ruled an ideologically-divergent alliance of People's Democratic Party and the BJP. He didn't comment on the cross-border firing either.

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