Unsurprisingly, the Congress, led by party chief Rahul Gandhi, has not taken well to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh and Basti on Saturday.
"Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1)," Modi said, referring to the Bofors case, a defence deal that allegedly involved bribes.
In response to Modi's remarks, Rahul on Sunday wrote on Twitter that "battle is over" for the prime minister. "Modiji, your karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won't protect you," he tweeted.
Rahul signed off with a reference to his now popular show of affection for the prime minister in Parliament last year. "All my love and a huge hug," he wrote.
The battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won’t protect you.
All my love and a huge hug.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 5, 2019
His sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka also tweeted in response to Modi's jibe and said the "people of Amethi" will give a befitting response to the insult to Rajiv. "The prime minister, who politicises and insults the martyrdom of brave personnel has, in an unbridled craze, also insulted a humble and pure man's martyrdom. The people of Amethi, for whom Rajiv Gandhi lost his life, will reply. Yes, Modiji, this country will never forgive betrayal," she said.
शहीदों के नाम पर वोट माँगकर उनकी शहादत को अपमानित करने वाले प्रधानमंत्री ने कल अपनी बेलगाम सनक में एक नेक और पाक इंसान की शहादत का निरादर किया। जवाब अमेठी की जनता देगी जिनके लिए राजीव गांधी ने अपनी जान दी। हाँ मोदीजी ‘यह देश धोकेबाज़ी को कभी माफ नहीं करता’। — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) May 5, 2019
Congress leader P Chidambaram also took to Twitter to respond to Modi's remarks. The former finance minister said Modi had crossed "all entitlements of propriety and decency" by "defaming" a person who died in 1991. In a series of tweets, Chidambaram pointed out that the Delhi High Court had declared the charges of corruption against Rajiv Gandhi as "totally baseless".
"Does Modi read anything?" he asked. "Did Mr Modi know that the BJP government had decided not to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court decision?"
Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda also responded to Modi's comment. "We were hurt by what the prime minister said about Rajiv Gandhi yesterday. Normally, the prime minister of a country speaks for the people and has huge accountability. The prime minister can't speak nonsense. But yesterday, the prime minister told Rahul Gandhi 'aapke pita no 1 corrupt thhe marte waqt'.
"Why did he say that? We are ashamed of the statement. I am a Gujarati, too, and come from Gandhiji's state. The people of this state can lie so much and speak such lowly things. This saddens us," ANI quoted him as saying.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said those who are 'pseudo-nationalist' and 'do politics of dividing people' will never understand Rajiv Gandhi and his sacrifices. "Those whose nationalism is pseudo and whose politics is based on dividing people will never understand Rajiv Gandhi and his sacrifice for the nation," tweeted Patel.
In a veiled reference, Patel also termed Modi, "pseudo nationalist." He said: "India will not forgive such people who have insulted, hurt and abused our martyrs. History is going to record the name of this pseudo nationalist in black ink for all his sins against the nation."
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Updated Date: May 06, 2019 15:37:59 IST