Slamming Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his 'Modi marriage' remark, Amritsar BJP candidate Arun Jaitley on Saturday alleged that Rahul has betrayed his "immaturity and desperation" by making such a personal matter a political issue.
However, hitting back in the same manner, Jaitley said, "How many senior Congressmen are in illicit relationships and yet have paraded their wives only for a photo-opportunity during nominations".
Writing in his 'campaign diary" on Facebook, Jaitley said, "Why is it that Rahul Gandhi has not been able to click as a leader acceptable to this country? This is the question every Congress member must reflect upon. Rahul's communication skills are at best modest. Let alone the average common citizen, his ability to inspire even the Congress cadre is questionable. His understanding of economy is suspect. But latest desperation that he has displayed makes one wonder whether his level of discourse can at all be prime ministerial".
The BJP leader further wrote, "In an affidavit before the returning officer in Vadodra, Narendra Modi disclosed the name of his 'wife'. This fact is sufficiently in public domain that Narendra Modi and the lady were made to solemnise a marriage as young children. They never lived together. Modi dedicated himself to spiritual and political activities. The lady lived with her parents, and worked as school teacher. By all accounts, the comments of the lady have been extremely dignified".
He said the provision of filing an affidavit with the nomination form was introduced on the direction of the Supreme Court as part of the voter's right to know facts even about the private lives of their candidates.
"Since the marriage was never acted upon in accordance with the requirements of the then law, Narendra Modi was earlier leaving the column regarding the name and assets of his spouse blank. It is only in September, 2013 that the Supreme Court clarified that no column of the affidavit could be left blank. Narendra Modi, therefore, made a truthful disclosure. Since when has the declaration of a lawful relationship, whether acted upon or not, become a political issue?"
Questioning the propriety of making a personal matter a political issue, Jaitley wrote, "Indian politics has an unstated code of conduct. Ordinarily, we don't drag families and ladies into controversy. Rahul Gandhi is guilty of breaching that code. He must remember that the disturbed matrimonial relationship of a former Indian Prime Minister was never a political issue. How many current senior Congressmen are in illicit relationships and yet have paraded their wives only for photo opportunities during nominations".
Having a further dig, he said, "Surely if people have a right to know about the 'legal' relationship of Modi, they also have a right to know about the illicit relationships of Congressmen. The latter is more relevant for people's right to know about the ethics of their candidates".
The BJP leader said that devoid of serious political issues and failing to understand them, Rahul Gandhi has "reflected his immaturity and desperation by making the 'Modi marriage' a political issue".