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BJP takes offence after Rahul Gandhi’s attack in first speech as Congress president, hits back with ‘corruption’ jibe

BJP’s Sambit Patra cites the sentencing of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda --- who was backed by the Congress --- in a graft case, while Babul Supriyo terms Rahul Gandhi the captain of a sinking ship.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2017 22:20 IST
Agencies
Agencies
New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi Congress president,Indian Nation Congress
Congress workers distribute sweets to celebrate for Rahul Gandhi's elevation as party president, outside the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

The BJP described the Congress as a “corrupt thought process” and shrugged off Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as its president Saturday, saying the party’s working style remained the same. (LIVE UPDATES)

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra launched a sharp attack on the Congress after Gandhi criticised the ruling party soon after replacing her mother Sonia Gandhi as its president.

Patra cited the sentencing of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who was supported by the Congress, in a corruption case, claiming the Congress would remain corrupt despite the change in leadership.

“We all know that Madhu Koda was an Independent MLA, but because of the fact that the government was formed with the outside support of the Congress party, the government then was almost a Congress government run by 10 Janpath, 24 Akbar Road by the help of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel,” he said.

He said it was an irony that despite the Congress not being in power for four years, corruption cases were still tumbling out and people jailed for corruption they did when it was in power.

“This speaks volumes about the thought process, the working nature of Congress party. So a new president or an old president, the working style of Congress party, the corrupt ways of Congress party still remain the same,” he told reporters.

He said when the Congress talks about a change in leadership, the country is seeing how during its 10-year rule, corruption of Rs 10 to 14 lakh crore took place under their nose.

“Congress is not an ancient thought process as claimed by a few, rather Congress is a corrupt thought process and that has been proved by the judicial process today,” Patra added.

After assuming the leadership of the party, Rahul accused the BJP of spreading hatred and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to medieval times.

“The BJP is spreading hatred and communalism... they break, while we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it,” Gandhi said.

Asked about the ‘Aag laga ke’ (ignite fire) comment, Patra said this was “not a decent way” to react.

“Elections are won not because of riots on streets, not because ‘sadak pe aag laga ke’. Elections are won because the mantra of reform, transform and perform works in the country under the able leadership of Narendra Modi,” he said.

He went on to add that elections were won as people compared how during the UPA days, the direct benefit transfer (DBT) was not there and the money could not reach the pockets of poor man.

“Today because of DBT, what the poor man deserves, reaches his pocket. Elections are won by giving LPG cylinders to the last man standing in the queue, when electricity reaches every village.

“So my simple request is we should not demean the basic nature of democracy in the country. Democracy is vibrant in the country because development is taking place as never before,” he added.

BJP’s Babul Supriyo too was unsparing in his attack on the Congress.

“Rahul Gandhi is the captain of a sinking ship. I would enjoy his speech back home as he must have said something humorous. I have heard his speech is already doing rounds on social media but I think he should talk about himself also,” said the Union minister.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 16:49 IST