Rahul's Gandhi's 'dalali' remark sparks debate between BJP and Cong; Amit Shah and Kapil Sibal weigh in - Firstpost
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Rahul's Gandhi's 'dalali' remark sparks debate between BJP and Cong; Amit Shah and Kapil Sibal weigh in

A day after Congress Vice Preseident Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his alleged politicisation of the army's surgical strikes, and accused Modi of doing "dalali" (profiteering) over the blood shed by Indian soldiers, senior leaders Amit Shah, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kapil Sibal conducted press meets to debate the issue.

Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah on Friday launched a scathing attack against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his "dalali" remark and said he has crossed all limits.

"By saying 'dalali' over soldiers' blood, Rahul Gandhi has crossed all limits. The remarks reflect the Congress' mentality," Shah told at a press conference.

"I strongly condemn his remarks. They are an insult not only to the brave armed forces and martyrs but the entire country," he said.

"I want to ask Gandhi does he perceive our soldiers' blood to be a thing to do 'dalali' (trade) with," asked Shah.

To the people seeking proof of the surgical strike, he said, "People who want to have a proof should go and take analysis of what is happening in Pakistan, they will learn a lot. If surgical strike didnt happen, why was a special session in Pakistan called? Why is the Pakistan PM constantly in Islamabad."

Kapil Sibal

After BJP president Amit Shah's rebuttal to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Kapil Sibal fired the round two of the political salvo between the two BJP and Congress.

"People who are named in murder cases will tell us that our roots are tainted. I didn’t expect the BJP to stoop so low that its leadership will have to point fingers at those who gave independence. Convicted people are giving lectures; the government has no experience making statements," Sibal said.

On the issue of the BJP claiming that the Army crossed the LoC for the first time on 29 September, when it carried out surgical strikes, Sibal asked, "Who crossed the LoC in 1965, 71 and 1999? Did Modi, Amit Shah or Parrikar cross the LoC? Does the Indian history start from 2014?" He also reprimanded the BJP for forgetting all these dates in Indian history and accused the BJP of exploiting the Indian Army's strikes. "We didn't politicise Kargil," he said.

"Stop putting up these posters claiming credit, it was Army who should be hailed so stop this politics," he further added.

Criticising PM Modi's strategy in dealing with Pakistan, he said, "Why did PM Modi visit Pakistan to wish him (Nawaz Sharif) on his birthday?"

Comparing Pakistan to a patient, the Congress leader said that the neighbouring country has cancer cells in its body and therefore India seeks to treat it with chemotherapy as it wants Pakistan to be a healthy nation.

The Congress leader also claimed that the BJP had given birth to the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

"Who let out Masood Azhar; whose defence minister accompanied him to Pakistan? Why did you go to participate in a birthday party? Who is giving energy to Pakistan? It’s BJP’s so called special friend who is giving them power and their industrialist friends are negotiating it. And they blame Congress party?" Sibal said.

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad appeared visibly agitated while addressing the press meet and said that nothing more could be expected from Congress and Sibal. He called Rahul Gandhi's statements extremely regrettable and shameful. The justification by the Congress press meet crossed all limits, according to Prasad.

Prasad said that defending Rahul Gandhi was more important for the Congress than defending the country. But he asked what message is the party sending out by doing so?

"We never expected that the Congress would stoop so low to defend its leader," he added.

Subramanian Swamy

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy too took pot-shots at Rahul Gandhi and said that he needs to get a mental check-up as a person with healthy mindset would not make such comments against the country's Prime Minister.

He also brought up the Agusta Westland case and the Bofors deal, blots of the Congress rule. He said, "Dalal mean lobbyist. It's a bad word for Indians but it may not be a bad word for Sonia Gandhi and family as they have been doing nothing but lobbying and getting commission for lobbying, you can see that in Agusta, Bofors and National Herald."

"I think Rahul Gandhi needs education or he should have a mental check-up because anybody with slightest education will not use such words that to against the Prime Minister of India."

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal, who was himself in the line of fire over his remarks on the surgical strikes, criticised Rahul Gandhi over his 'dalali' remarks on surgical strikes and urged political parties to cast aside their differences and rally behind the Prime Minister.

"Our soldiers valiantly carried out surgical strikes and demolished terror addresses. I have previously done so and want to congratulate the army once again for this. I strongly criticise Rahul Gandhi's remarks wherein he said army's sacrifices and bravery was 'khoon ki dalali'.

"I condemn the use of such words. I have told in the House as well as in a video message that right now there is tension at the border. The entire country should stand behind the army keeping aside political differences and support the Prime Minister's steps pertaining to security. There should not be any politics over this issue," Kejriwal said.

Rahul Gandhi

On Friday Rahul Gandhi defended his stance on his 'Dalali' statement in a series of tweets from his official Twitter handle. He said, "I fully support the surgical strikes and I have said so unequivocally, but I will not support using the Indian Army in political posters and propaganda all across the country."

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