Hours after the BJP released a video targeting her husband, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Sunday said the saffron party leaders were scurrying around like nervous rats even as she mocked Narendra Modi, saying a big-heart, and not 56-inch chest, was needed to govern India.
“It is natural that a daughter would like to defend her mother. A sister would like to defend her brother. I do not have any problems with that,” BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi told news agency PTI on recent attacks by Priyanka who had accused him of humiliating her family. Asked if he would pursue charges against Robert Vadra if voted to power, he said if somebody had done something wrong, the law must take its own course.
“Baukhlaye hue chuhon ki tarah daud rahe hain (they are running around like nervous rats)… I will not remain quiet and I’m waiting for them to say more,” Priyanka told media in Rae Bareli on being asked about the eight-minute video and a booklet that questions the alleged illegal land deals of her husband.
“Let them do whatever they like. I will continue to speak against their destructive (vinashak), negative (nakaratmak) and shameful (sharmnak) politics.” Priyanka was in Rae Bareli from where her mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is seeking a re-election. Rae Bareli votes on April 30.
Read: Don't need a 56-inch chest to run country: Priyanka to Modi
With just three rounds of polling to go, the Congress’ first family is not pulling its punches and has taken on Modi over his development claims, his “hijacking” of the party and sidelining of party seniors.
Addressing a rally earlier in the day, Priyanka said a big heart, and not 56-inch wide chest, was required to govern India, an apparent reference to Modi’s oft-quoted remark on the effort gone into “development” of Gujarat.
“This is India. You don’t need a 56-inch wide chest to govern India. Instead you need a bigger heart,” Priyanka said.
“You don’t need brutal force of power to govern the country. You need moral strength. You don’t need hollow display of capabilities but inner strength,” she said.
Modi recently told HT it was not in his “political culture” to “be vindictive against any person” but added “there was nothing political or partisan or vindictive about wanting justice delivery on time”.
Read: BJP video questions Gandhi family on Vadra's land deals
On Sunday, he added the law must take its own course. “But that has to happen in an institutional manner… such actions should never be guided by political considerations,” he told PTI.
The BJP accused the Congress of taking “democratic discourse to a new low”.
“Calling BJP rats is abusive politics. They have taken democratic discourse to such a low and they have now distorted democracy and hurt democracy,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in Delhi.