BJP, Congress’ mud-slinging match continues as Gujarat poll fever hots up
The allegations and counter-allegations came a day after the Congress apologised for posting ‘chaiwala’ meme with reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Updated: Nov 23, 2017 09:07 IST
Mud-slinging between the BJP and the Congress over “derogatory remarks” against the leadership of the rival parties escalated on Wednesday with both sides indulging in allegations and counter-allegations.
The opposition party listed 10 examples when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made “personal attacks” against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, his predecessor Manmohan Singh and other opposition leaders.
For its part, the BJP too cited instances when the Congress used “disparaging” language against the Prime Minister.
The allegations and counter-allegations came a day after the Congress apologised for a jibe at Modi by the online magazine of its youth wing.
The Congress sought an apology from Modi for repeatedly making “crass, crude, insensitive, derogatory and vulgar” remarks against its leadership. It alleged that the PM was “single handedly responsible for lowering” the political discourse in the country.
“History is dotted by a barrage of derogatory and uncouth statements made by the BJP’s top leadership, including the Prime Minister himself, which speaks volumes about the ruling party’s mindset,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a news conference.
“Did Modi apologise when he called Manmohan Singh a ‘night watchman’ and Sonia Gandhi as ‘jersey cow’ and Rahul Gandhi a ‘hybrid calf’?” he asked.
“Did Modi express any remorse when he said that he had taken a random survey of 20 people, and all of them said they would not hire Soniaji even as a clerk?”
Singhvi also referred to the PM’s remarks at a rally in Gujarat on October 17 when he said that “Congress vikas ke naam pe bhonkti hai (Congress barks in the name of development)” and compared the opposition party with “dheemak (termites) while campaigning in Himachal Pradesh on November 4.
“Did Modi express any regret when he called journalists ‘bazaroo’ and taunted Congress MP Shashi Tharoor with his infamous Rs 50 crore girlfriend remark that smacked of ranked misogyny?”
The Congress spokesperson alleged that the BJP, its ministers and leaders have constantly attacked the Congress president and the party leadership by using the “choicest” expressions. “Has anybody apologised or has the BJP reprimanded them or taken any action against them?” he asked.
The BJP retaliated by listing out the derogatory references such as ‘monkey’, ‘Hitler’ and ‘Aurangzeb’ made by Congress leaders against the Prime Minister and also alluding to his ’56-inch chest’.
Union minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said since Independence, if any person has been attacked with derogatory language and names, it is Modi.
“A lot of abusive words are being used and BJP is being blamed. If anyone has stressed on a clean discourse, it is the PM.”
He then read out a list of disparaging remarks made against the PM by Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, who referred to the surgical strikes as ‘khoon ki dalali’.
“In February 2014, Arjun Modhwadia called the PM mentally retarded, former Union minister Salman Khurshid said the PM is impotent and called him Aurangzeb; and Rashid Alvi called him Yamraj,” Rathore told the media.
The long list collated by the ruling party includes references to ‘Vikas gone mad’, Rahul Gandhi’s comment that “RBI (is) changing demonetisation rules like PM changing his clothes” and Kapil Sibal commenting on the PM’s statement that his mother also stood in a queue to change currency after demonetisation
Sibal had said: “I am very sad. No good son ever wants that his 97-year-old mother has to (face such a situation) and they boast of a 56-inch chest.”
First Published: Nov 23, 2017 09:06 IST