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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Congress, BJP spar over Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s remarks

Khattar mocked Congress’s move to find a replacement for Rahul Gandhi as party chief. “After three months, who became the president? Sonia Gandhi. Khoda pahar nikli chuhiya, woh bhi mari hui”

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 15, 2019 02:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress (DPMC) workers raise slogans and carry an effigy of Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar after he made sexist remarks against interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi during a march from DPCC Rajiv Bhawan to BJP Head office, in New Delhi.
Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress (DPMC) workers raise slogans and carry an effigy of Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar after he made sexist remarks against interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi during a march from DPCC Rajiv Bhawan to BJP Head office, in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

A political row broke out between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Monday after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar used a Hindi idiom to describe Sonia Gandhi’s appointment as the president of her outfit, prompting sharp reactions from the principal opposition party.

Speaking at an election rally on Sunday, Khattar mocked the Congress’s move to find a replacement for Rahul Gandhi as the party chief. “They spent three months moving around the country in search of a new party president. After three months, who became the president? Sonia Gandhi. Khoda pahar nikli chuhiya, woh bhi mari hui (figuratively much ado about nothing, but a phrase that appeared to make a derogatory remark about the Congress chief). This is their condition.”

On Monday, the Congress said the Haryana CM’s comment was “deplorable” and demanded an unconditional apology from him. Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said people will never forgive Khattar for the indecent language he used for Gandhi. Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev said the remarks were a clear reflection of the BJP’s disrespectful attitude towards women.

Meanwhile, the Congress’s Maharashtra working president Nitin Raut attacked Khattar on Monday, calling him a “khachhar” (mule).

The row comes a week ahead of assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra.

At the Sonipat rally, Khattar also criticised the Congress over the exit of its state unit chief Ashok Tanwar, who quit the party after alleging that bribes were being paid for tickets to fight elections.

Reacting to his remarks, Dev accused the Haryana CM of lowering public discourse in an attempt to divert attention from real issues such as joblessness and economic slowdown.

(With agency inputs)