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Irked with Modi's barbs, Cong says address Rahul with respect

PTI  New Delhi, October 26, 2013
First Published: 17:53 IST(26/10/2013) | Last Updated: 17:57 IST(26/10/2013)

Taking strong exception to Narendra Modi addressing Rahul Gandhi as "Shehzada", Congress today did some tough talking as it threatened that its workers were capable of stopping such "undignified" language but were restrained due to respect for laws and the Model Code.

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The ruling party said its Vice President should be addressed in the same manner in which he addresses people with respect as use of words like "Shehzada" will not be tolerated.

Defending Rahul Gandhi's recent election speeches where he had invoked Muzaffarnagar riots, the Congress said the motive behind Gandhi's remarks should be understood as he said communalism in any form should be opposed and condemned.

"The way Rahul Gandhi is being addressed and criticised by the use of language - words like 'Shehzada' and alike, this conduct is not dignified in a democracy.

"Congress workers are not reacting out of respect for the Model Code of Conduct and laws of the country and are thus quiet. Otherwise, the use of such words can be stopped in two days. We don't want such a situation to arrive," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, without naming Modi.

He said the way Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders address people with respect, it is expected that others also use similar words to address them.

The Congress leader was reacting to Narendra Modi's remarks made yesterday in Jhansi where he attacked Gandhi for saying that ISI was in touch with Muslim youth of Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar and dared him to reveal the identity of such persons or apologise publicly for levelling "serious allegations" and "defaming" the entire community.

Modi has also been using "Shehzada" to address Gandhi publicly in the recent past.

Dwivedi said fundamentalism of any form gives rise to communalism which is not good for the country and no one should rake up such issues irresponsibly in national interest. "We have been seeing for a long time now that some people do politics even on very sensitive issues," Dwivedi stressed, adding that Gandhi had said communalism in any form should be opposed.

Attacking the BJP, the Congress general secretary said issues which do not have any meaning are being blown out of proportion in a bid to seek political mileage. The BJP has petitioned the Election Commission for Rahul Gandhi's attack against it and for accusing the saffron party of spreading hatred in society by flaring up communalism.

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