In a stinging counter-offensive against the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the party had "humiliated" institutions important to democracy, like the Indian Army and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
"If you thought they (the Congress) only had a problem with EC and EVMs, now wait. They have humiliated the army, CAG and every institution important to our democracy," Modi said. Th prime minster was interacting with polling booth-level Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry through a video conference.
He was referring to the Congress questioning the veracity of the surgical strikes targeting terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, and for contesting the CAG's discovery of Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss to the exchequer in the coal scam.
Furthering his attack on the Congress, Modi said: "Like the sunlight, which is the best disinfectant, information and awareness are important for democracy. Hence, people need to be apprised of the behaviour, attitude and dangerous games of the Opposition, including the Congress.
"They will do their best to spread lies but it is in our hands to spread the truth. They will do their best to mislead people but it is in our hands to expose them," he said.
Modi has forgotten when BJP members and allies did the same
Politicians have short term memory. Same or similar allegations always float about and the parties pointing the finger forget that they once were at the other end of the finger.
The BJP has previously launched similar attacks on the very institutions that Congress has been accused of "humiliating". The Opposition had made similar accusations against the BJP, and had demanded apologies.
For instance, in March 2017, Maharashtra BJP MP Prashant Paricharak had sparked controversy when he spoke about army wives' allegedly adulterous nature. According to India Today Paricharak had said, “Baby despite husband being away. Husband at the border, wife has a baby”.
The BJP suspended him amid mounting pressure from Opposition parties as well as the Shiv Sena, which is a BJP ally in Maharashtra.
BJP MP Nepal Singh also caused tensions to rise in January this year, when he told ANI that members of the Indian Army were "bound to die" and that there was no nation on earth where army men did not die in battle.
"People in the Indian Army are bound to die every day, is there any nation where army men do not die in battle? Even in fights in villages, someone or the other is hurt. Show me a device that does not cause deaths. Show me a thing such that stops a bullet from working," he had said.
According to PTI, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also raised Singh's comments during Zero Hour in Parliament and condemned them.
RSS joins the fray
The saffron party's ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has also been guilty of "humiliating" the institutions of democracy.
The most notable instance is RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying that the organisation has the ability to prepare an "army" to fight for the country within three days, "which the army would do in 6-7 months." The Congress was quick to demand an apology from Bhagwat, starting with the party's president Rahul Gandhi.
"The RSS chief’s speech is an insult to every Indian because it disrespects those who have died for our nation," Rahul had said on Twitter, adding that "it is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our army."
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma added to the criticism, and said that Bhagwat’s “sad and disturbing” comment had insulted the Indian armed forces. “Such statements and thoughts weaken the morale of our armed forces,” Sharma told reporters.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also added to the mix and said:
The prime minister's accusation, that the Congress has demeaned the authority of democratic institutions, comes as part of an ongoing game that the two parties play: One party launches an attack, the other condemns it, and no resolution is reached. Then, the parties switch places, and the same process ensues.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2018 15:29:56 IST